Fluoride-Helping Teeth Grow Strong.
Fluoride is a substance that helps teeth become stronger and resistant to decay. However, too little or too much fluoride can be detrimental to the teeth. Little or no fluoride will not strengthen the teeth to help resist cavities. Excessive fluoride ingestion by preschool-aged children can lead to dental fluorosis, which can range from a chalky white to even brown discoloration of the permanent teeth. Many children often get more fluoride than their parents realize. Being aware of a child’s potential sources of fluoride can help parents prevent the possibility of dental fluorosis.
Some of these sources are:
- Too much fluoridated toothpaste at an early age.
- The inappropriate use of fluoride supplements.
- Hidden sources of fluoride in the child’s diet.
Certain foods and drinks can contain high levels of fluoride. Examples are powdered concentrate infant formula, infant dry cereals, white grape juices, decaffeinated teas, and juice drinks manufactured in cities where fluoride is added into the water. Please read labels and contact the manufacturers with questions.
It is important to get the recommendation of your pediatric dentist for proper supplementation. Fluoride drops, tablets, and fortified vitamins should not be given to infants younger than six months of age. All sources of ingested fluoride should be accounted for to help determine the appropriate amount prescribed.
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