Fluorosis is a condition that causes staining on the permanent teeth. While fluorosis does not damage the structure or health of the affected teeth, its presence can be embarrassing, and the stains often darken over time
What Causes Fluorosis
Fluorosis is caused by excessive exposure to fluoride between the ages of 20 and 30 months of age, when the permanent teeth are developing beneath the gums. The most common sources of fluorosis include the following:
- Swallowing toothpaste that contains fluoride
- Swallowing mouthwashes that contain fluoride
- Inappropriate dosing of fluoride supplements
How Fluorosis is Identified
Signs of fluorosis vary from very small, barely noticeable spots on the teeth to dark staining, including brown marks and discoloration on the permanent teeth that do not go away with brushing.
How Fluorosis is Treated
Although the stains from fluorosis are permanent, they can often be lessened with tooth bleaching, composite restorations, porcelain veneers or dental microabrasion.
How to Reduce the Risk of Fluorosis
- Teach your children not to swallow toothpaste or mouth rinses that contain fluoride
- Use only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste for children over 2 years of age. For children under the age of 2, use either a non-fluoridated toothpaste or a minuscule smear of fluoridated paste.
- Avoid fluoride supplements
If you have concerns about spots on your child’s permanent teeth, talk to our lower Manhattan pediatric dentist at your next visit.