Fluorosis is a dental cosmetic condition that effects the appearance of tooth enamel. It’s often caused from over consumption or exposure to fluoride. Usually occurring in younger children whom may consume fluoride in toothpaste or mouthwash.
Fluoride can also be consumed through supplements, fluoridated drinking water or fluoride-fortified fruit juices and soft drinks. In such cases fluoride is often regulated by food governing bodies. Fluoride exists naturally in water, which can vary depending upon geographic location. The mineral can also be found naturally in foods such as fish, rice, and even tea.
What are the symptoms of Fluorosis?
Affected teeth appear mildly discoloured. This may include:
- Irregular surface colour of teeth, such as faint white lines
- Yellow or brown staining on teeth
- The formation of pits
In a majority of cases Fluorosis doesn’t affect the health of your teeth. It isn’t a form of oral disease or a sign of decay but can be misinterpreted as staining.
What causes Fluorosis?
In most cases, fluorosis occurs in younger children, while teeth are in development. Children are most susceptible as they may incidentally consume excessive levels of fluoride over a longer period of time. New teeth are more vulnerable to this while underneath the gum. This is often the cause for children being most commonly effected. Once new adult teeth breach through the gum, they are less likely to be effected by Fluorosis.
How do I prevent Flourosis developing in my child?
During earlier years of brushing it is vital to monitor your child’s habits. Whenever possible, avoid your child from using excessive amounts of toothpaste, and swallowing toothpaste or mouthwash. A pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste is the recommended amount.
Try encouraging your child to brush twice a day for two minutes. Flossing once a day is also recommended.
For children under 6, try not to use fluoride mouthwash. Even though mouthwash is a good habit for everybody, young children are more likely to accidentally swallow mouthwash as they haven’t appropriately developed their swallowing reflexes.
Is Fluoride in Tap Water & Can that effect my teeth?
Flouride can be found as a natural element in water. This includes both fresh and sea water.
Beginning in Australia in the 1960’s, scientists began including additional fluoride into the public water supply at a safe level. This process is known as water fluoridation. The intention and purpose is it to improve oral health throughout the community, regardless of age, income or lifestyle circumstance.
As a result, Water Fluoridation delivers the oral advantages of fluoride to help reduce tooth decay and therefore gum disease. The process in Australia is performed under strict management and compliance measures (Safe Drinking Water Act 2003), allowing additional fluoride in water to be safe to drink.
A recent study by the The National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC’s) regarding the safety and effectiveness of Water Fluoridation concluded that fluoridation provides a safe and efficient method at reducing tooth decay.
As a result from its benefits for adults and children, Water Fluoridation has been promoted by internationally recognized organisations in Australia and world-wide. A few include; the World Health Organization, Australian Medical Association, and the Australian Dental Association.
How do I treat Fluorosis or what can a dentist do to treat Fluorosis?
In most cases Fluorosis is mild. Requiring no dental treatment. There are different cosmetic methods that a dentist can use to help mask teeth that might be effected. Similar techniques are used for teeth stains. It is vital to consult a dentist for professional recommendations specific to your needs prior to undergoing any procedures.
- Teeth Whitening systems can help to remove surface stains. It is important to take into consideration, that teeth whitening can at times temporarily accentuate and worsen the appearance of fluorosis. Multiple whitening treatments may also required for optimal results.
- Composite or Porcelain Veneers, are a highly effective method since this procedure can instantly improve the cosmetic appearance of an entire smile. Veneers will cover the face of each treated tooth and therefore remove the appearance of past fluorosis. Veneers also improve shape, overall white colour (shade), and alignment of your teeth.
- Bonding is a popular effective method as it coats the tooth or effected area with a hard natural looking resin on top of enamel. The difference between bonding and composite veneers is that bonding only covers a small part of the tooth. Whereas, composite veneers cover the entire visual area of the tooth.
- A dental crown can be used to cover a tooth. This process may depend upon the patients needs, Whereby, reshaping an entire tooth to improve aesthetics could be recommended. Crowns are a porcelain tooth that cover all of a natural tooth after it has been shaved down to hold the crown in place.
Book in for a check-up and clean to get an assessment regarding Fluorosis
If you’re having difficulties distinguishing if you have fluorosis or staining on your teeth it’s best to book in for a simple check-up and clean with a dentist close to you. That way a dentist can perform a standard scale and clean to help them identify the health of your teeth. If you have concerns regarding staining or colouring on your teeth it’s important to discuss this openly with your dentist. A dentist can recommend possible cosmetic dental treatments that might be best suited for your teeth and relative to your financial options.
Simply contact nearest you for your smile care needs.
Our dental practices vary as preferred providers with the following:
- Gold Coast Dentist Clinic: Bupa, Medibank, MBF, CBHS, HCF, TUH, Westfund.
- Logan Dentist Clinic: Bupa, Medibank, NIB, CBHS, HCF.
- Bray Park Dentist Clinic: NIB, CDBS, HCF, TUH, Australian Unity.
- Wynnum Dentist Clinic: CBHS, HCF, MBF, BUPA.
- Jimboomba Dentist Clinic: NIB, HCF, TUH, CBHS.