Fluorosis is a common condition that not many people know about. It’s not a serious health or physical problem in most cases, but it can be quite the esthetic issue for many people. Fluorosis occurs when too much fluoride is consumed during the developmental stages of teeth. Teeth affected by fluorosis can show a variance of signs from no visual changes to pitted and discoloured spots. This article will shed some light on how fluorosis occurs and what can be done for it.

The permanent teeth form in the jaw bones during the early childhood stages. Usually, by the age of eight, all the crowns (the part of the tooth you can see in the mouth) of the teeth are fully formed, even though they might not erupt for some time. While they are developing during these stages, a large amount of fluoride consumption can allow fluoride to enter the tooth structure. Small amounts of fluoride can be beneficial to teeth by adding strength, but too much fluoride can lead to fluorosis.
For most people fluorosis leads to white spots or lines on the teeth. There’s no easy way to get rid of these spots such as bleaching because that only causes them to become more prominent. Therefore, usually, no treatment is recommended because as mentioned before, fluorosis is not insidious. However, in more severe cases where the spots can be brown, gray or black, then they can be masked with either bonding, crowns or veneers.
In order to prevent or reduce the chances of fluorosis, it is recommended not to use fluoridated toothpaste until your child is able to spit on their own. There are many products on the market today that offer non-fluoridated toothpastes for children that can be used until they are able to spit out the toothpaste. Avoid using flavoured toothpastes with children, because this may encourage them to swallow.
Fluoride is also found in drinking water in many places. Make sure to check if your local water is fluoridated and find out how much it contains. Adding fluoride to water has been one the best treatments in combating tooth decay, but it must also be carefully monitored. Sometimes children can be prescribed fluoride supplements from their dentist or doctor, once again it’s important to determine the level of intake. Some foods and drinks such as fruit juices and bottled water also contain fluoride and should also be carefully examined.
Unfortunately, fluorosis is a permanent condition and cannot be reversed. However, it is not a disease and does not make your teeth more prone to cavities or other dental issues. If you do notice white spots or other coloured spots on your teeth, then it would be a good idea to sit down with your local dentist and discuss any potential concerns or issues. If you are in the Langley, BC area, then call us today or visit us at our website today!

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