Studies show fluoride tablets and fluoridated water can help stave of decay, protecting your teeth from cavities. What happens, though, when someone has ingested too much fluorine or its compounds when the teeth are being formed, such as in pregnancy or with baby teeth? The condition is known as fluorosis and it even though it does not result in cavities, it can change the appearance of your teeth. Some of the symptoms of fluorosis includes:
• White lines, streaks, or spots on the enamel
• In more severe cases, the teeth can take on a pitted look and have brown, gray, or black spots
• Unusual shape of the enamel
• Weakened tooth enamel, which could lead to an increased risk of developing carries (decay)
To make the diagnosis, your dentist would examine your teeth and listen to other symptoms you may have developed. We invite you to call us for an appointment with Dr. Chet B. Hawkins at 281-488-4242.
To prevent fluorosis, use only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on your child’s toothbrush if they are under 6 years of age. Also encourage them to spit out the toothpaste and try using a paste that does not have flavors that increases their desire to swallow. Also, keep all fluoride-containing products out of the reach of children, which includes toothpaste and mouthwash. If you already have fluoridated water, there is no need for a child to take fluoride tablets. At Chet B. Hawkins DDS Inc, we can also check a sample of your water.
Some beverages and foods, such as fruit juices and soft drinks, contain fluoride at levels similar to fluoridated water – and some bottled water even has some fluoride in it. To correct the problem, you may consider tooth whitening to remove the surface stains and maybe veneers to cover up the discoloration – which is permanent. Contact us to learn more about fluorosis in Houston, Texas.