Fluoride is an important part of dental health. Fluoride strengthens developing teeth in children and helps sustain the enamel in adult teeth. However, if children receive too much fluoride before their adult teeth erupt, they could end up with a case of fluorosis. Fluorosis is caused by too much fluoride in a child’s body, and can result in white and brown spots in adult teeth. Fluorosis does not affect teeth that have already erupted, only teeth that are forming in the jaw. To make sure that your child is getting the right amount of fluoride, you should talk with your family dentist. In most cases, people who use a toothpaste containing fluoride, and who live in an area with fluoridated water are getting enough of the mineral.
Often, the effects of fluorosis are not even noticeable to people other than a dentist. Although the condition is irreversible, it is a cosmetic problem and although the streaks and spots may darken in time, there are solutions for addressing fluorosis in your child’s permanent teeth. Those solutions include whitening treatments, or the use of veneers, crowns or dental bonds.
If you are concerned about fluorosis, or if you would like a dentist to evaluate your child’s fluoride intake, our pediatric dentist, Dr. Susan Francis will be happy to meet with you, examine your child’s teeth and discuss any necessary treatments. If you live in the Waco, Texas, area and would like to make an appointment at Bellmead Kids Dentistry, you can reach our office by calling 254-870-8814. During your visit, talk to our staff about our other dental services for children.