Monday, January 26, 2009

Dental Fluorosis: Too Much Fluoride is a Bad Thing

Dental fluorosis is a condition that occurs when the body takes in more fluoride than it needs. It is most common in children whose teeth and gums are still developing (typically before age 7). The result is discoloration of the teeth. In a mild form, the teeth get white lines or patches.  In more extreme cases, the enamel can turn yellow or brown, and the teeth can become mottled.

Fluoride is readily available, so it is important to monitor fluoride intake. Fluoride can be ingested from sources such as tap water, toothpaste and vitamins. Make sure your children use small amounts of fluoride toothpaste and rinse thoroughly to avoid swallowing it.

As with any oral health issue, consult your dentist regarding prevention or treatment of dental fluorosis.

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