Fluoride is a mineral found naturally in water, as well as in many foods. Fluorosis occurs when a child is exposed to an excessive amount of fluoride. It is actually a defect in the tooth enamel that appears as bright white streaks or spots on the tooth’s surface and in the enamel. In rare cases, it may look like brown stains and rough tooth surfaces.

? What causes fluorosis?

As mentioned previously, fluorosis is the result of ingesting too much fluoride. This occurs in children whose teeth are still developing at a young age.

? Is fluorosis preventable?

It is possible to prevent fluorosis in young kids. You should ask your dentist how much fluoride your child needs. Then monitor your child’s intake of fluoride from all sources:

  • toothpastes
  • tap water
  • bottled water
  • fluoride supplements
  • mouth rinses

Supervise all children under 8 years old to make sure he or she is not swallowing too much fluoridated toothpaste while brushing.

It is also a good idea to contact your local water company to find out the level of fluoride in your tap water. If your home is supplied with well water, have it tested to determine the fluoride levels. The optimal level for preventing tooth decay is 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter.

Get help at Washington Smiles for fluorosis

Our dentists will be more than happy to speak with you regarding fluorosis and the proper amounts of fluoride needed for healthy teeth. If you or your child notice the signs of fluorosis, teeth whitening, veneers, or dental bonding can be used on the tooth’s surface to minimize the unsightly appearance of fluorosis.