More Is Not Always Better When Fluoride Is Concerned

Some say that you can’t get enough of a good thing. This may be true in some cases, but overexposure to fluoride during the time when a child’s permanent teeth are taking shape can lead to a condition known as fluorosis. It appears in various stages of discoloration, pitting or other imperfections on the surface of the teeth.

Fluoride is a proven factor in the fight against cavity prevention in children. It helps the teeth become more resistant to the acids that attack tooth enamel and lead to tooth decay. Most modern water supplies contain an adequate level of fluoride. Problems arise from taking too many supplements. Fluoridated toothpaste, for instance, come in flavors that appeal to children which is good in a way, but may make the kids want to use it too often. Younger children run the risk of actually swallowing the toothpaste because it tastes so good.

Most cases of fluorosis are mild, and some are not even noticeable to the naked eye, but if you do see white streaks or spots on your child’s teeth, be sure to call it to the attention of your pediatric dentist in Aurora. There are treatments available that can conceal any noticeable staining.

Parents can oversee the amount of fluoride that their children ingest, starting with their drinking water. Your health department can tell you how much fluoride your water contains. If your family’s water supply comes from an underground well, take a sample for laboratory analysis to determine the fluoride content. Once you have this information you can share it with your dentist, and discuss the need for a fluoride supplement. If you decide a supplemental treatment is indicated your dentist can apply a fluoride concentrate in his office. If a home supplement is advised parents should oversee the dosage closely.

Indications that your child may have consumed too much fluoride can include bouts of nausea and complaints of abdominal discomfort. An overdose of fluoride is not a medical emergency, but some of the symptoms may cause concern.

If you see any signs of unexplained discoloration, our pediatric dentist at Epic Dentistry for Kids in Aurora can help. You can make an appointment for your child to be seen!