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Fluorosis & What It Means For Your Child

Young boy in dental chair having examDental fluorosis is the result of baby teeth being overexposed to fluoride, mostly during the ages of 3 months to 8 years old. While fluorosis is not a dental disease, it is a cosmetic condition, which can cause self-esteem issues in your child.

In the correct amount, fluoride is very good for the teeth, helping to strengthen your child’s enamel and prevent tooth decay and dental cavities. However, in excessive amounts, fluoride can cause damage to the teeth and make the enamel porous and pitted.

Causes Of Dental Fluorosis

The following can potentially cause dental fluorosis:

  • Receiving too much fluoride through fluoridated water, toothpaste, or food
  • Drinking carbonated drinks and soda beverages in early childhood
  • Certain medications which contain fluoride, in combination with fluoride from other sources

Symptoms of mild fluorosis include white flecks or spots on the enamel. As fluorosis becomes more advanced, the small white flecks will begin to turn into larger white spots or streaks, and the surface of the teeth will become visibly pitted or yellowed.

Avoiding Dental Fluorosis

  • Make sure you’re supervising the amount of fluoride toothpaste your child is using (no more than a pea-sized amount)
  • Make sure your kids aren’t swallowing their fluoride toothpaste
  • Avoid feeding your children baby food that contains additional fluoride
  • Check the fluoride levels in the tap water in your area and in any bottled water your family consumes
  • Never give your child fluoride tablets or drops without first approving them with your child’s dentist or pediatrician

If your child has exhibited any of the symptoms of fluorosis or if you need to set an appointment for your child, please contact Great Outdoor Pediatric Dentistry. Our children’s dental office is located in Dover, NH.

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