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Pediatric Dentistry: What is Dental Fluorosis?

November 15, 2014

120104044Check any tube of toothpaste on the market today, and you will see that fluoride is at the top of the list of ingredients. That’s because fluoride can prevent cavities and even reverse early tooth decay. But studies have shown that if young children are given too much fluoride they can develop severe tooth discoloration, known as fluorosis. The problem is that many years ago, we recognized the benefits of fluoride so we set minimum fluoride requirements in public water sources. It’s estimated that the fluoride in our tap water has reduced cavities by as much as 40%. Today however, we also include fluoride in all dental care products including toothpaste, floss and mouthwash. It turns out that too much fluoride during early childhood, when permanent teeth are forming under the gums but haven’t erupted, can cause young children to develop fluorosis.  Once permanent teeth have erupted, fluorosis cannot be developed. If you have noticed tiny white spots, streaks or severe discoloration with a blotchy brown or pitted appearance in your child’s teeth, it’s time to have them checked for fluorosis. Make an appointment with Dr. Latner at Westside Dental Associates today for your pediatric dentistry needs. Westside Dental Associates serves families throughout West Los Angeles and surrounding areas including Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park and Mar Vista.

Los Angeles Pediatric Dentistry: Risks of Fluorosis in Children

Your child may be at risk for developing fluorosis if they are:

  • Getting fluoride in drinking water
  • Using too much toothpaste and then swallowing it rather than spitting it out
  • Taking too much of a fluoride supplement
  • Using a fluoride supplement when the water they’re drinking already contains sufficient amounts of fluoride

Fluorosis Treatment for Pediatric Dentistry in Los Angeles, CA

Only a dentist can determine if your child’s tooth discoloration can be attributed to fluorosis. If it is determined that your child has discoloration due to fluorosis, there are many dental treatments available. Treatment options include simple techniques like microabrasion, bleaching, veneers or full crowns. The risk of developing fluorosis is just one more reason to make sure your child visits the dentist for a check-up every six months. Make an appointment with Dr. Latner at Westside Dental Associates today for a pediatric dentistry dental check-up. Westside Dental Associates serves kids and adults throughout West Los Angeles and surrounding areas including Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park and Mar Vista.

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