If you have noticed white spots on the surfaces of your child’s teeth that do not go away with brushing, you may be wondering what they are and how you can help your child get rid of them. It is likely that the white spots are an indication of dental fluorosis - continue reading to learn more.What is Dental Fluorosis?
Dental fluorosis is a condition that occurs in developing teeth. This condition changes the aesthetic appearance of tooth enamel, causing noticeable white spots. Severe cases can be identified by yellow or brown spots or even pits in the surface of the teeth.
Fluorosis occurs when a child takes in excessive amounts of fluoride while their teeth are developing. This condition generally affects children ages 8 and younger, as this is the age range during which teeth development occurs. Children above the age of 8 - as well as adults - do not have the ability to develop dental fluorosis.
Causes of dental fluorosis include:
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps strengthen and support the enamel of the teeth, but it is important to keep in mind that too much of a good thing can be harmful.
During your child’s first eight years, be sure to closely monitor their fluoride intake, and pay close attention when they are brushing and rinsing out their mouth.
In some cases, children may like the taste of toothpaste so much that they actually swallow it, or they may accidentally swallow their mouthwash after rinsing out of habit. Keeping a close eye and providing them with instructions will help them avoid taking in too much fluoride.
It is also important to ensure that your child is not using too much toothpaste when brushing; a pea-sized amount will provide them with the fluoride they need to protect their teeth without placing them at an increased risk of over-consumption.
If your child takes a fluoride supplement, it is best to consult both your pediatric dentist and your pediatrician to determine if this should continue.
In many cases, your child’s dentist may not recommend any treatment other than cutting back on fluoride intake.
For mild-to-severe cases of fluorosis, the following methods of treatment may be used:
With the information you have learned here, you will be well-equipped for helping your child maintain a healthy and beautiful smile.
EZ Dental is proud to offer the most comprehensive and personable dental treatment in San Jose, CA. Our team of dental professionals will work hard to help you maintain the healthiest smile possible.
For more information about dental fluorosis, or to get scheduled for an appointment in our San Jose dental office, give us a call at (408) 227-6000.
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