As a parent, you have to be extremely attentive to your child's well-being, including the health of your little one's teeth. Fluoride is an important element of any child's tooth-care regimen. Not only does it help make the teeth stronger but it also increases their resistance to cavities. However, too much fluoride can create problems in your child's teeth.
Brushing your child's teeth from a young age can lead to healthy, strong and shiny teeth. However, an intake of excessive fluoride from toothpaste or even other sources can cause dental fluorosis in little ones, which can cause discoloration in your child's permanent teeth.
Dental fluorosis usually affects children whose gums and teeth are developing. Therefore, this condition is common in children who are six years or younger. However, the effects of fluorosis appear only when the affected teeth erupt. It is seen as opaque white patches and spots or as chalky white lines on the permanent teeth. However, in extreme cases the enamel can change to a yellow or brown hue. Pits may also develop on the surface of the tooth.
You can prevent fluorosis in your tiny tots by following these steps:
Use un-fluoridated baby tooth cleanser for children who are two years or younger.
Train your child to brush and rinse without swallowing toothpaste.
If you have to use fluoridated toothpaste, use a drop as small as a green pea for children up to eight years of age.
Keep track of all the fluoride sources that your child is exposed to.
Talk to a dentist or pediatrician before giving your child additional fluoride supplements or fluoride dental treatments.
In the case of dental fluorosis, prevention is better than cure! The damage that dental fluorosis can cause is permanent. It can also affect your child's smile for life! Talk to Mark Cruz, DDS, your neighborhood dentist to find out more about dental fluorosis and how you can prevent it.