Fluoride is a natural element that has been found to help patients strengthen their natural tooth enamel. In fact, the American Dental Association supports fluoride as a healthy compound that can help fight against cavities and protect the teeth from other complications. However, there is a time when a patient can have too much fluoride. This causes a condition called fluorosis. At Northwest Dental Center of Boise, Idaho, Drs. Don Cook and David Bingham educate patients on this condition as family dentists.
Fluorosis is a condition that occurs when toothpaste and mouth rinses with fluoride are swallowed and not spat out. Fluorosis can also occur when patients drink well water that has a high concentration of fluoride. This condition occurs when the teeth are forming in the early stages of life. Usually between the ages 0-3 when spitting out excess toothpaste is difficult for the young children. This can cause aesthetic issues, including teeth that are abnormally stained or darkened. This impacts the cosmetic appearance of the smile and can make some patients feel self-conscious when socializing with others due to these imperfections.
Fluorosis in its early stages is primarily cosmetic. However, severe cases can cause teeth to become brittle and more prone to tooth decay. It is important that our patients have regular checkups with Drs. Cook and Bingham so any problems can be identified as soon as possible and addressed by a dental professional.
Fluoride continues to be beneficial for our patients in most instances. We encourage following the ADA guidelines for fluoride use and brushing twice a day using fluoridated toothpaste. If you have any questions or concerns about your individual fluoride needs, and how fluoride is used in your home, our dentists at Northwest Dental Center are happy to speak with you about them. They can provide professional advice tailored to each person’s dental health and lifestyle and make individualized recommendations regarding fluoride use.
A few of the signs of excessive fluoride include:
If you are worried about fluorosis, it may be time to talk to the team at Northwest Dental Center. We are conveniently located at 8300 West Northview Street and can be reached by calling (208) 314-4416 for a visit.
We encourage you to contact us via phone or email. Please feel free to get in touch. We’re always happy to hear from you!