Fluorosis is a cosmetic problem that occurs in the enamel of forming teeth. Fluorosis appears as faint white lines on the tooth. Most are barely noticeable, but in some cases, these white lines may be seen during regular lighting.
Fluorosis most often occurs when a small child swallows an excessive amount of fluoridated toothpaste. Doing so changes the way the tooth is being formed in the gum, and the tooth develops with these faint lines across them. There is no structural damage to the tooth, just the cosmetic changes in coloring with the faint white lines. Fluorosis can only develop when teeth are below the gum line; once a tooth has erupted, fluorosis cannot develop.
The most important thing a parent can do to prevent fluorosis damage is to prevent a small child from swallowing toothpaste that contains fluoride. While it is important to teach children to brush at a very early age, the use of a specific children’s toothpaste is recommended. Talk to your dentist if you are considering using an ‘adult’ toothpaste in a child under two.
Never use more than a small pea sized amount of toothpaste in children, in case of accidental ingestion. Additionally, teach children to spit (not swallow) after brushing to avoid the potential of fluorosis.
Fluoridated water may contribute to fluorosis if used to mix baby formula in infants with no teeth. If you have a baby and are using water to mix formula, talk to your pediatric dentist about the advantages and disadvantages about the use of fluoridated water.
With a little bit of prevention, your child should never develop fluorosis. If you have concerns about fluorosis, make an appointment to see your regular dentist.
Posted on the behalf of Marietta Family Dental Care, P.C.
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