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Enamel Fluorosis




What is enamel fluorosis?
A child may face the condition called enamel fluorosis if he or she gets too much fluoride during the years of tooth development. Too much fluoride can result in defects in tooth enamel.
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Why is enamel fluorosis a concern?
Most cases of fluorosis are mild and will appear as tiny white specks or streaks that are often unnoticeable. However, in severe cases of enamel fluorosis, the appearance of the teeth is marred by discoloration or brown markings. The enamel may be pitted, rough, and hard to clean.
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How does a child get enamel fluorosis?
By swallowing too much fluoride for the child's size and weight during the years of tooth development. This can happen in several different ways. First, a child may take more of a fluoride supplement than the amount prescribed. Second, the child may take a fluoride supplement when there is already an optimal amount of fluoride in the drinking water. Third, some children simply like the taste of fluoridated toothpaste. They may use too much toothpaste, then swallow it instead of spitting it out.
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How can enamel fluorosis be prevented?
Talk to your pediatric dentist as the first step. He or she can tell you how much fluoride is in your drinking water. (Your local water treatment plant is another source of this information.) If you drink well water or bottled water, your pediatric dentist can assist you in getting an analysis of its fluoride content. After you know how much fluoride your child receives, you and your pediatric dentist can decide together whether your child needs a fluoride supplement.

Watch your child's use of fluoridated toothpaste as the second step. A pea-sized amount on the brush is plenty for fluoride protection. Teach your child to spit out the toothpaste, not swallow it, after brushing.
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Should I just avoid fluorides for my child altogether?
No! Fluoride prevents tooth decay. It is an important part of helping your child keep a healthy smile for a lifetime. Getting enough -- but not too much -- fluoride can be easily accomplished with the help of your pediatric dentist.
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Can enamel fluorosis be treated?
Once fluoride is part of the tooth enamel, it can't be taken out. But the appearance of teeth affected by fluorosis can be greatly improved by a variety of treatments in esthetic dentistry. If your child suffers from severe enamel fluorosis, your pediatric dentist can tell you about dental techniques that enhance your child's smile and self-confidence.
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Information and stock photos on this page courtesy American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

General Topics

Dental Care For Your Baby
The Pediatric Dentist
Emergency Dental Care
Thumb and Pacifier Habits
Regular Dental Visits
< Enamel Fluorosis
Diet and Dental Health
Sealants
Mouth Protectors
X-Ray Use and Safety
Preventive Dentistry

Quick Tips for Busy Parents

Start Off The School Year Right!

Students miss more than 51 million school hours per year because of dental problems or related conditions. Dental pain can distract students, cause their schoolwork to suffer or even lead to school absences. Children and adolescents with healthy teeth have better attendance, are more attentive in class and tend to participate more fully in school-related activities.

To start the school year off on the right tooth, and prevent oral-health-related absences, teach your student to floss once a day and brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Beware of frequent snacking, as repeated exposure to sugary or starchy snacks can increase the risk for cavities. And most important, visit your pediatric dentist twice a year. Your pediatric dentist provides an ongoing oral health assessment and can help your student prevent cavities and school absences.



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The pediatric dental office of Marsha Adler Gordon, D.D.S. and Wanda J. Janik, D.M.D. is located in Allentown, PA and provides your child with a fun and friendly environment as well as excellent dental care.