Fluoride is a vital component for tooth health. The mineral prevents decay by strengthening tooth enamel, and it’s proven to be such a benefit for oral health that many US cities have added fluoride to their water supply. But sometimes, we can get too much of the mineral — and when children are overexposed to fluoride, it can lead to the cosmetic condition known as fluorosis. Your dentist in Los Angeles, Dr. Les Latner, is in today with more about fluorosis, or the tooth stains caused by fluoride, its causes, treatment and prevention.
All About Fluorosis: Causes, Treatment, Prevention
Fluorosis is a cosmetic dental condition that results in stained, discolored or unevenly surfaced teeth. It is easily treated and prevented.
Causes of the Condition Fluorosis
Fluorosis is caused by overexposure to fluoride in children during their first eight years, when their permanent teeth are forming and erupting. Too much fluoride exposure usually occurs from the improper use of fluoridated mouthwashes and toothpastes combined with drinking fluoridated water or taking a fluoride supplement.
Teeth that have been affected by fluorosis can range from mildly discolored to severely damaged. Sometimes the effects are little more than lacy white markings only your dentist can detect — but in the worst cases, teeth have irregular surfaces and highly noticeable dents.
Treatment of Fluorosis
While the condition is often mild enough that no treatment is needed, fluorosis can be so apparent that something must be done to help return teeth to their normal appearance. For moderate to severe cases, treatment can include:
- Tooth whitening
- Surface stain removal
- Cosmetic bonding
Preventing Fluorosis in Children
Because fluorosis occurs in the first eight years of a child’s life, it’s up to the parent to prevent the condition from developing. Know how much fluoride your child is getting from sources like water and other things you may not realize have been fortified with the mineral, like fruit juices or candies. Additionally, make sure he or she is using fluoridated mouthwashes and toothpastes only as directed — and consult your doctor before adding in a fluoride supplement.
Talk to the Dentist in 90064 Who Knows About Fluorosis
If you’re a parent who’s worried about the amount of fluoride your child is receiving, schedule an appointment with Dr. Les Latner to find out how you should proceed. And if you’re an adult who’s dealt with the damaging effects of fluorosis since childhood, don’t live with those stains another day — Dr. Latner is also your cosmetic dentist in Los Angeles, ready to help you restore your teeth to their full beauty. Contact us to schedule your appointment today (new patients click here).