Dental fluorosis is a change that occurs in the look of the tooth’s enamel. The changes in the appearance of the enamel vary regarding their severity. In mild cases, white spots are visible on the surface of the tooth’s enamel. In moderate to severe cases, heavy discoloration and pitting of the enamel are present. The image below shows a moderate example of fluorosis.
Why Does It Occur?
Fluoride is most beneficial during the developmental years of the teeth and its enamel. It only affects children who are eight and under. Eight years and under are when permanent teeth are undergoing development below the gums. If excess fluoride is consumed during the developmental years, it will result in changes to the enamel (dental fluorosis). Fluoride is also used after the developmental years to strengthen tooth enamel against dental decay.
The severity of fluorosis is determined based on how much, and how long the fluoride was being consumed.
Common Sources Of Fluoride
- Drinking water that has been fluoridated.
- Food and beverages that are processed with fluoridated water.
- Prescription supplements which contain fluoride
- Dental products such as mouthwash, fluoride gels, and fluoride foam.
How Can It Be Prevented?
Some younger children may not be able to properly gargle or rinse with mouthwash. It is recommended that they avoid the use of mouthwash until they are nine years old. Choosing mouthwash that does not contain fluoride is another option. Swallowing toothpaste while brushing is another concern. Parents should always supervise their children when they are brushing. Avoid the use of toothpaste that contains fluoride for children who are less than two years old.
Swallowing toothpaste while brushing is another concern. Parents should always supervise their children when they are brushing. Make sure that they are only using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Avoid the use of toothpaste that contains fluoride for children who are less than two years old.
Use an alternate water source for children aged 8 years and younger if your regular drinking water contains more than 2 mg of fluoride per litre. You can get this information by calling the water utility company.
If you or your child currently have dental fluorosis, talk to your dentist. Cosmetic dental procedures can fix the appearance of teeth affected by dental fluorosis.
About Dr. Joseph Salvaggio
Located in Brampton, Ontario Dr. Joseph Salvaggio has been practicing general, cosmetic, and implant dentistry for over 20 years. He enjoys interacting with his patients and helping to restore their oral health for better overall health as well. Meeting new patients, interacting and educating them is one of Dr. Salvaggio’s biggest joys. We encourage you to read our reviews or call us with any dental questions you have. We look forward to speaking with you and meeting you soon.