CAN YOU HAVE TOO MUCH FLUORIDE?
The answer is yes, even though it is a very helpful mineral for improving oral health. Fluorosis is a condition that can occur when children are exposed to excess fluoride during the first eight years of life, while their adult teeth are still developing.
Fluorosis causes the teeth to look as if they have a white lacy film over them. More severe cases can cause brown or even black stains on the teeth. Sometimes teeth can appear to be pitted.
WHAT CAUSES FLUOROSIS?
It is a cosmetic condition that is generally caused through drinking naturally fluoridated water, or through swallowing fluoride toothpaste rather than spitting out the excess. Sometimes it may be caused through taking a fluoride supplement while drinking fluoridated water or fortified fruit juice or bottled water that already contains an adequate supply of this mineral.
GETTING TREATMENT FOR FLUOROSIS
Quite often the condition will only affect teeth right at the back of the mouth where they cannot be seen, or it is so mild as to be virtually invisible. Other times it will be necessary to cover up the stains. This can sometimes be done through whitening the teeth, but fluorosis stains do not always respond to this treatment. Otherwise the teeth can be covered up with dental bonding, porcelain veneers or crowns. Another conservative technique is to use microdermabrasion to smooth the surface of the teeth, helping to whiten them. Midtown Dentistry will be able to advise you as to which method will be the most successful for you.
If you have young children then it is worth talking to Dr. Jonathan Penchas about the use of fluoride products. Sometimes it can be best to avoid the use of fluoride toothpaste in children below the age of two who do not have the ability to spit out the excess, or to use very low fluoride toothpaste. It is also best to keep all products containing fluoride out of reach. When your child brushes their teeth make sure you monitor how much toothpaste they are using and encourage them to spit out the excess. Using some of the child oriented toothpaste flavors can encourage them to swallow so it can be best to avoid these if this is likely to occur.