Dental Flourosis

What is Dental Fluorosis?

What Cause Dental Fluorosis?

Dental fluorosis is the mottling that happens to teeth due to overexposure to fluoride, usually from a ingesting too much fluoride. The most common way to be overexposed to fluoride is from children eating toothpaste. Children are unable to spit until around five or six and so if they’re ingesting toothpaste before that age, it can affect the healthy and normal development of the enamel on the adult teeth. When the adult teeth start coming into the mouth around age six or seven, the enamel will appear speckled grey or brown or have white streaks. These spots and stains don’t go away. They are permanent and may actually darken over time.

For mild cases of fluorosis, Alpers Dental uses an etching technique on the surface of the affected tooth, then rinses and gently uses pumice on the tooth surface for approximately 20 seconds. This protocol is repeated at least twice, after which GC tooth mousse is applied immediately and then again each night before bed for four to six weeks. The mousse helps regenerate the subsurface of the tooth where the fluorosis stain is.

Another application may be needed for more moderate cases.

In severe cases, full teeth whitening or veneers might be an effective cosmetic restorative treatment option.

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Fluoridated Water in Auckland

Fluoride is a naturally occurring element found in the air, soil, water, seawater, plants and many foods. In New Zealand, the level of naturally occurring fluoride in the water supply is too low to be effective at preventing tooth decay. The New Zealand Dental Association recommends that the water fluoridation level be maintained at a level of 0.7 to 1.0 parts per million to help protect teeth. According to the New Zealand Dental Association, fluoride works by “lowering the pH at which enamel starts to demineralise and promotes the repair of teeth by aiding remineralisation of the tooth surface. It works best at doing this when it is used in low concentration and relatively frequently.” Fluoride needs to work together with sufficient calcium and phosphorus intake, which are all minerals that make up tooth enamel. The issue of whether or not to fluoridate water in Auckland has been raging on and off for years. Some parents are concerned about a seeming increase in incidents of fluorosis in children living in areas with fluoridated water. Several European nations have stopped fluoridating their water. The NZDA maintains that in small amounts, fluoride is safe and necessary to having healthy and strong teeth. The problem is over-ingestion of fluoride not from water sources, but from kids swallowing fluoridated toothpastes. It is advisable that children not brush with a fluoride toothpaste until they learn to spit. Toddler toothpastes are now available that are fluoride free. This minimises the amount of fluoride your child swallows. Given how fluoride aids in the remineralisation of enamel, it’s important for healthy mouths that your child receive occasional fluoride applications to make up for the use of fluoride-free toothpastes. If you need  Dental Fluorosis treatment, please call Alpers Dental in Epsom, AK at (09) 524-5056.

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Dental Flourosis January 5, 2015