What Can Happen If a Child Has Too Much Fluoride in His Diet?
Children who have too much fluoride in their diets do run the risk of getting fluorosis in their teeth, however Dallas dental care specialist Dr. Thomas D. Nabors DDS says it is highly unlikely that a child would be exposed to too much fluoride from tap water and toothpaste alone.
Dr. Nabors goes on to explains that fluorosis is an infliction that can cause anything from discoloration of the teeth to a mottling of dental enamel. In its mildest form, fluorosis can result in small white spots or streaks going down a person’s teeth. A rather strange fact, fluorosis is a condition that only impacts very young children. Dr. Nabors says that fluorosis is not something that dentists caution parents much about once their children are past age 10.
When he does see cases of fluorosis, Dr. Nabors says the condition is usually caused by children who live in areas without city water. People who drink well water will sometimes put extra fluoride in their supplies, and this fluoride may not be regulated the way city water is. It is rare to see a child who drinks tap was from city systems have fluorosis anymore, in large part because the amount of fluoride that is put in city water is so regulated depending on the climate.
Fluorosis is not something that can be caused by the food a child is eating. Rather, it is usually associated with the levels of fluoride in the water and any dental products a child is using on a frequent basis, explains the Dallas dental care specialist.
Nonetheless, the Dallas dental care expert says it is still a smart idea for parents to make sure their community water supplies are fluoridated. If a family does not live in a fluoridated area, then Dr. Nabors recommends that they make sure to use fluoridated toothpastes and possibly fluoridated mouth rinses, as well.
Fluorosis can only happen during a child’s formative years. By the time a child hits 10 years old, his teeth and enamel are pretty much finished forming, says Dr. Nabors. Thus, the amount of fluoride that a child is ingesting is not going to be as important as he gets older as it was when he was very young. Parents should take this into consideration and remember that it is better for their children to drink fluoridated water than to avoid it out of an unfounded fear of fluorosis.
It is highly unlikely that a person would suffer any harmful effects from fluoride simply by brushing with too much fluoridated toothpaste or drinking too much city-regulated fluoridated water, however the Dallas dental care specialist says that can happen in rare occasions.
Irving, TX 75062
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