Hey, my name is Shelly Katalgo. My love for sedation dentistry started in high school. My best friend had a severe fear of going to the dentist and I wanted to help her feel better about it. Although I always enjoyed my dental visits, I felt bad that she struggled so much with going to hers. My parents taught me about sedation dentistry and I instantly dreamed of becoming a dental professional. I wanted to help kids like my friend stay fear free throughout their appointments by using gentle techniques and professional medications. Although I opted to follow a different career path, my passion for dentistry remained throughout the years. I will update my site with developments in this industry as soon as they are reported. I will also discuss the benefits of sedation dentistry in detail. Thanks for visiting. I hope you come back soon.
If you've noticed gray, brown, black or bright white stains on your child's teeth, you may assume that it's tartar buildup or that there's an infection. However, these stains could be because of fluorosis, also known as enamel mottling.
What is Fluorosis?
Fluorosis occurs when your child receives too much fluoride, whether that's from toothpaste, certain drinks, or certain foods. While fluoride is good at remineralizing teeth and strengthening enamel, it's only good in moderation. Children under the age of eight are especially prone to fluorosis because their teeth are still developing.
The good news is that this is mainly a cosmetic issue and will not cause your child's teeth to be unhealthy. If your child has severe fluorosis (deep black or brown spots), then it may end up being a functional concern because the fluorosis can cause pitting which affect the tooth's shape. Of course, you'll want to take your child in to a pediatric dentist to confirm the diagnosis.
What Can You Do to Treat Fluorosis?
While you may want to whiten stains, colgate.com says that whitening isn't safe for kids under 15 since there hasn't been enough research to confirm that it's safe. Thankfully, there are other ways you can help your child mask the stains if they don't like them.
You can ask your pediatric dentist about MI paste. It doesn't contain fluoride and is a remineralization paste that is derived from milk. This paste can strengthen teeth and help reduce lighter fluorosis stains.
For more severe stains, you can look into dental bonding. Your dentist can bond enamel-colored resin to your child's teeth to improve their appearance. Bonding is a much easier procedure than veneers, more affordable, and more suitable to children.
How Can You Prevent Further Staining?
Ask your pediatric dentist about how much toothpaste you should be using for your child. Believe it or not, many children only need a pea-sized drop of paste. You may also want to think about getting toothpaste that doesn't taste like a treat. For example, your child may be getting excess fluoride by swallowing their toothpaste if it's a bubblegum flavor. Encourage your child to use a cup of water to help them swish the toothpaste and make it easier to spit it out.
You can also prevent fluorosis by limiting certain juices and soft drinks, which contain trace amounts of fluoride. Lastly, talk with your dentist about the appropriate dosage of fluoride supplements. If you live in a city that adds fluoride to its water, then these supplements may not be needed at all for your child.