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Dental fluorosis is a known adverse effect of fluoride overuse. Enamel or dental fluorosis is a condition caused by 'excessive' intake of fluoride over an extended period of time.
Fluorosis is a cosmetic problem and not a dental disease. Teeth are strong and healthy, but the spots and stains left by fluorosis are permanent and may darken over time. Dental fluorosis can be cosmetically treated by a dentist by microabrasion or tooth bleaching.
PREVENTING DENTAL FLUOROSIS
Powdered or liquid concentrate infant formula should be mixed with water
that is fluoride-free or contains low levels of fluoride,
Do not use fluoride toothpaste until the child is two years old unless
advised to do so by a dentist,
For children age two and older, place only a pea-sized amount of fluoride
toothpaste on the toothbrush at each brushing,
DENTAL FLUOROSIS TREATMENT
Tooth whitening - only for
mild fluorosis cases. The whitening is achieved by the abrasion of the
outer layer of the enamel in order to remove surface stains.
In cases of severe dental fluorosis the tooth enamel usually becomes
porous, and tooth whitening methods are not recommended as treatment.
Dental fluorosis treatment for severe cases of fluorosis requires covering
the affected teeth with restorations, such as :
Composite bonding. After
etching the enamel, a composite resin (with a color matching the other
teeth) is "glued" on to the exterior of the tooth.
Porcelain veneers. Made
out of porcelain, veneers form a ceramic shell over the surface of the
tooth, covering the stains and discoloration caused by the dental fluorosis.
Tooth bonding and porcelain veneers are relativly expensive dental fluorosis
treatments but they can provide excellent cosmetic results.
How did my child get fluorosis?
Your child may have gotten dental fluorosis by ingesting too much fluoride in a number of forms. The excess fluoride can come from swallowing too much fluoride toothpaste, drinking canned or bottled drinks that contain fluoridated water, or taking too many of the fluoride drops or tablets prescribed for infants.
Your water supply also may have contained high levels of fluoride, which added to the problem. As a precaution, have your water supply checked.
But I thought fluoride was good for my child…
Fluoride is possibly the safest and most effective method available to prevent tooth decay, and teeth affected with dental flurosis are often more resistant to tooth decay. However, when ingested in excess, it can cause a negative cosmetic effect. Despite some early research suggesting a link between excessive fluoride consumption to conditions such as bone cancer or osteoporosis, to our knowledge, enamel fluorosis is the only negative side effect to inducing too much fluoride, and can be treated cosmetically.
My child has dental fluorosis. How can you help?
The damage that dental fluorosis causes to the internal matrix of the teeth is permanent. This damage is unfortunately irreversible. However, there are ways to hide the damage of enamel flurosis by treating the surface of the teeth so as to hide the discoloration.
Dental fluorosis treatment options vary and will depend in part on the severity of the fluorosis. Our options include:
Abrasion: Abrasion involves finely sanding off the outer layer of the
enamel. It is a common approach when the fluorosis is mild. However, if
the enamel fluorosis is of a more advanced severity, abrasion is probably
not a good idea as it can bring to the surface of the teeth a highly-porous
enamel that will be prone to attrition.
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