In Mississauga we are fortunate to have access to many cavity preventing products. Using fluoride on our teeth can help strengthen them and protect from dental decay. This is why most local water supplies have added fluoride.
Fluoride is a cavity preventing chemical that has the greatest benefit when used at the right concentration. The level of naturally-occurring fluoride in Mississauga Lake-based municipal water supply is adjusted to an optimal concentration range to protect against tooth decay: 0.5 mg/L to 0.8 mg/L, as recommended by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change’s Technical Support Document for Ontario Drinking Water Standards, Objectives and Guidelines. At this level fluoride is incorporated into the tooth and adds hardness and cavity resistance. At levels of 1.2ppm and 4ppm there is an increased risk of for mild to severe fluorosis respectively.
Fluorosis is a disturbance in the developing enamel that is caused by excess fluoride in blood. Tooth enamel is one of the four major tissues that make up the tooth. Blood levels are directly related to the levels of fluoride ingested in water. Excess levels can be acquired by drinking well water and from ingestion of fluoride. Mild fluorosis produces lusterless, whitish opaque spots on teeth. The occurrence of these spots near the tooth edge has been called ‘snow caps’. Moderate fluorosis is characterised by more generalised yellow to brown spots, whereas severe fluorosis gives teeth a mottled or pitted appearance with brown or white spots. In a severe form, the whole structure of the tooth can be altered.
Fluorosis can become evident when a child’s permanent teeth start erupting, If St. Lawrence Dentistry notices the streaks and spots on your child’s teeth, we will often ask about the fluoride intake of the child to determine if these discolorations are indeed caused by fluorosis. We may also suggest you consider to have x-rays taken to see if there are no other problems aside from these stains.
In many cases, fluorosis is so mild that no treatment is needed. Or, it may only affect the back teeth where it can’t be seen.
The appearance of teeth affected by moderate-to-severe fluorosis can be significantly improved by a variety of techniques. Most of them are aimed at masking the stains.
Treatment for dental fluorosis first begins by assessing your current fluoride intake to ensure you are currently not ingesting to much fluoride. [trx_highlight type=”1″]Dr. Hawryluk[/trx_highlight] will enter into a discussion with you come up with solutions to limit your fluoride intake.
Bonding can be an effective way to cover discolored areas.
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In some cases porcelain veneers are the best treatment to mask the fluorosis.
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MI Paste, a calcium phosphate product, is sometimes combined with methods like microabrasion to minimize tooth discoloration.
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Teeth whitening solutions are often helpful to mask the effects of fluorosis. This is when the discoloration and deformities are not that severe. Please note that bleaching teeth may temporarily worsen the appearance of fluorosis.
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Fluorosis in children can be preented by carefully watching their fluoride intake. Vigilance is the key to prevention, and one way to ensure that your child does not get fluorosis is to teach them the proper use of fluoride toothpastes. Have them use only a small, pea-sized portion every time they brush their teeth, and to spit after each brushing (not swallow). Do not use flavored toothpastes at this point since this will encourage your kid to swallow rather than to spit out the fluoridated toothpaste.
Also, try to keep any fluoride enriched products out of their reach to ensure that they do not go beyond the recommended daily intake (which is between .25 and 1 milligram for kids). Try to find out how much fluoride is in your drinking water to ensure that you do stay within the allowable, safe limits. Do not have your child take in fluoride supplements as well, unless prescribed by your dentist.
If you would like to learn more about dental fluorosis and you live in the Mississauga area please give us a call.