Dental fluorosis is a cosmetic concern whose base is created in the infant age only. During the infant period to till 3 years, children who are fed on fluoridated water are at high risk to develop enamel fluorosis. However, by applying preventive measures to avoid dental fluorosis parents can protect their children.
Children who are not breastfed have to rely on fluoridated foods which once consumed by kids affect them later on when they have permanent teeth. These teeth either decayed soon or has enamel fluorosis problem in which the front teeth color get extra whiten or yellowish or brown. Apart from that the enamel fluorosis causes big pits and staining in the outer teeth.
It is the habit of children to swallow toothpaste when they start brushing in the starting days of life by the age of two or three. Most of the paste has fluoride content which is not good for the teeth health and when swallowed directly it stars its process of teeth decay which is seen in the early younger age on permanent teeth. These effects primarily to the front side teeth.
Other than toothpaste the other big source of fluoride for infant children are infant formula foods intakes which needed to be prepared with the tap fluoride water. These infant intakes are mixed with water for feeding the children again which causes direct consumption of fluoridated water which later on causes fluorosis in babies.
The use of infant formula for the prolonged period gives birth to severe enamel fluorosis. Another big source of fluoride in infants and children under age 5 are the medications which contain fluoride formula as its active ingredient. These medications may come in the forms of drops, pills, vitamins, and lozenges.
When these medications are swallowed directly it starts its process of enamel fluorosis or teeth decay in the children. These can effect mild to moderate ranges as a result of that the permanent teeth have a cosmetic concern because of unpleasing front teeth color and appearance.
Dental Fluorosis Symptoms
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Dental fluorosis happens in children under age eight which affect to their permanent teeth. The teeth decay or enamel fluorosis appears in the front teeth and these are easily visible from the bare eyes or naked eyes. Children affected by dental fluorosis develop the following symptoms.
- Brownish stains become visible on teeth.
- Whitish spots on front teeth or similar to chalk lines like spots get visible in teeth.
- In extreme condition pitting of teeth issue get developed which is difficult to clean.
- The appearance of unaffected teeth remains different from nearby affected teeth. The healthy teeth look glossy and smooth whereas affected teeth look rough and unsmooth.
Dental Fluorosis Treatment
In the case of mild fluorosis dental attack or under the condition fluorosis has affected the back teeth no treatment is required and most of the time it gets disappears automatically with time.
However, in moderate to severe condition of dental fluorosis when front teeth color is badly affected or when teeth pitting develops, treatment becomes necessary as it becomes a cosmetic concern. In general for treating dental fluorosis following treatment options are applies.
The enamel microabrasion is considered as easiest and least invasive method to treat the dental fluorosis. In this treatment process acid, is uses to clean the teeth enamel. This is a repetitive process which includes several sitting in order to get the desired result. In the mild cases of dental fluorosis, this technique is applied.
Small layers of enamel are cleaned through acid application followed by the use of topical fluoride which helps to remineralize or revitalize the treated teeth. Remember topical fluoride is not harmful to teeth health just like normal fluoridated tap water. Topical fluoride gives strength to teeth and it helps to recover its condition.
Dental fluorosis happens due to direct ingestion of fluoride by children.
The enamel microabrasion process helps to improve the appearance of teeth which is affected by fluorosis. Also, it prevents the future attack on teeth by remineralizing it. In order to get the desired result out of this treatment process, repetition of this technique is required.
Porcelain Laminate Veneers
In the Porcelain Laminate Veneers treatment process for dental fluorosis front affected teeth are shaved out of about one millimeter in size. Teeth impression is taken by the dentist and veneers are prepared at the lab which remains similar by look and shape just like nearby teeth.
The veneer made in lab enhances the appearance of affected teeth which color gets dull due to enamel fluorosis. It easily fits into the shaved tooth. This treatment process gives pleasing look to the affected tooth very easily.
The dental crown is the most invasive treatment procedure to cure dental fluorosis. Different materials are used to create a dental crown after taking the impression of the affected tooth in a laboratory. At first, the false or temporary crown is placed till the time permanent crown is not prepared.
In the dental crown process the tooth which is affected by dental fluorosis is shaved by the doctor and in its place, the aesthetic crown is placed. The dental crown is another treatment option for improving the appearance and health of teeth affected by dental fluorosis. This treatment process provides the new and fresh appearance to the whole affected teeth.
Though this process can implants absolutely new tooth in the place of decayed and enamel fluorosis tooth but this technique should be avoided or considered as the last treatment option as because in the case of dental fluorosis the health of tooth remains in good condition only its external appearance is affected which can be treated with another less invasive treatment process.
Direct Composite Veneers
In the direct composite veneers treatment process for dental fluorosis, filling materials are used in order to heal the affected teeth appearance. This process is very much similar with the porcelain laminate veneers method, however, the only difference in these two processes is that after shaving the front teeth, an impression is not taken by the dentist for lab preparation.
Unlike the direct composite veneers method after shaving the affected tooth, it is repaired with the white composite filling material directly. The aesthetic tooth color filling covers the affected tooth area.
This process is good for improving the appearance of the tooth affected with dental fluorosis, however, the loophole of the process is that mostly its treatment lasts only for one year and again it requires to be treated with either by the dental crown method or by the porcelain laminate veneers treatment method.
Out of these four treatment process for cursing dental fluorosis, enamel microabrasion method is the least invasive way for treating this dental concern and as much as possible this should be considered as the first option for treating such dental concerns.
For the better look and improved appearance of the discolored teeth due to dental fluorosis composite filling method and porcelain laminate veneer, methods are other two vital options, in which front teeth are shaved and covered with artificial dental materials.
The dental crown is the most invasive procedure which should be applied in the least cases of dental fluorosis. As in this dental concern mainly external appearance of teeth remains affected and internal health of teeth remains ok so there is less need of applying this technique for dental fluorosis.
Preventive Measures to Avoid Dental Fluorosis in Babies
Fluorosis in babies should not be considered a normal or avoidable issue. This was the big crisis throughout the world around the 80s, however later on with active participation by world health organization, awareness increased among parents regarding its drawbacks and losses for their children.
Since the beginning days if parents take care of some important things then this issue can be relieved completely. This requires equal participation and awareness by the infant parents and local health bodies of all the countries across the world. As a preventive measure to avoid dental fluorosis following steps or measures needed to be taken.
The benefit or importance of mother’s milk for her infant child is numerous. The baby gets pure and nutrient dense food through the breastfeeding process which is essential for the mental and physical growth of children. Along with overall growth, breastfeeding is also beneficial in regards to preventing teeth decay and enamel fluorosis which occurs in the permanent teeth.
When a baby is breastfed then he or she remains protected from the infant formula foods which is prepared by mixing with fluoride tap water. Also breastfeeding increases the immunity power of the children which reduces the necessity of drugs consumption that is based on the fluoridated formula.
Baby Mouth Cleaning
It is essential to keep the mouth of baby cleaned each time when he is fed especially when infant foods are used for feeding. Mouth cleaning with clean and hygienic cloth and bristled toothbrush keep away all the left particles of these foods which are prepared with fluoridated tap water. So this prevents the risk of enamel fluorosis in children.
Healthy Breast Feeding Substitute
Breastfeeding to children under aging 1 is the most important and easiest way to prevent fluorosis in babies. However due to some or other reason breastfeeding is not possible to provide to some babies by mothers, in that case, it is important to provide some healthy feeding to the children.
All parents are required to consult with the pediatrician regarding the best possible baby feeding ways. This is mostly necessary for the first year of the baby when even small amount usage of fluoridated water can lead the base for enamel fluorosis and teeth decay when permanent tooth grows.
Solid Food for Babies
Another best possible way to prevent dental fluorosis is by providing solid food to babies in their fourth or six months from birth. There are several foods which are equally beneficial as breastfeeding. These foods can be transformed into the liquid form so that it will be consumable by small babies.
Use of Fluoride Free Water
Powdered infant formula and any other infant foods should not be prepared with the fluoride water as it directly affects the baby’s gum leading to fluorosis development. Instead, parents should use fluoride free water which remains pure and distilled purified.
Tap water should never be used for preparing infant formula. For the safer side and proper care of your baby usage of labeled water, filtered water, and deionized water is considered good for preventing the enamel fluorosis dental attack.
Visit Pediatrician on Regular Interval
During infant period of your child, it is important to do pediatrician visit on regular fixed interval whether the baby is ill or in a good health condition. The doctor understands the dental need of your baby and according to that parents can get the better guidance of dental care.
Give Proper Care to Child
If you are conscious about your baby’s health and don’t want that he or she gets a victim of teeth decay and dental fluorosis then you have to pay minute attention to each and everything such as dental hygiene and its cleaning.
Don’t use fluoride-containing toothpaste for your baby unless it is recommended by doctors. Stop saliva sharing habit such as avoid cleaning of the dropped pacifier, baby’s mouth wiping etc. with your mouth, spoon sharing again is one of the saliva sharing behavior. Many parents have a habit of putting children on the bed with the milk bottle or sippy cup which elevates the dental fluorosis symptom.
As a responsible parent, each and every parent wants to see their child growing with good and prosperous overall health. However, this is only possible when constant effort and care is given to avoid unwanted health hazard. The same rule is applicable for the dental care of kids and infants since their birth.
It is always a better way to apply preventive measures instead of using the curing process when the condition gets worse. So use our preventive measures to avoid dental fluorosis in your children when their permanent teeth appear.
If proper care and attention would be provided to kids since their birth regarding their oral hygiene, mouth cleaning, their food quality and especially breastfeeding can be provided to them then there will be very less chance exists for enamel fluorosis or teeth decay instead healthy and beautiful teeth can be ensured with little effort and care by the parents for their children.