Dental fluorosis (also termed mottled enamel) is an extremely common disorder, characterised by hypomineralization of tooth enamel caused by ingestion of excessive fluoride during enamel formation.
Fluorosis is a sign that shows your children have been over-exposed to fluoride while their teeth have been developing. Affecting the appearance of your child’s teeth, dental fluorosis causes faint white lines or streaks on their tooth enamel.
Once your child’s teeth have broken through their gums, they can no longer develop dental fluorosis.
Though fluoride is a beneficial element to your child’s oral health, an oversupply can interfere with the cells that make tooth enamel while your child’s teeth are developing in their gums. Dental fluorosis does not affect the function or health of your child’s teeth, and is often so faint that only your dentist will notice the condition during an examination.
Remember that fluorosis affects only the appearance of teeth. It does not result in cavities. As a result, most of the treatment for fluorosis consists of masking the stain.
Many cases of fluorosis are minor enough not to need treatment. Sometimes fluorosis occurs only on the back teeth, where it can’t be seen. More serious cases and cases involving the front teeth can be treated by removing the surface-stained areas through tooth whitening or other procedures. Severe cases of fluorosis can be covered with bonding, crowns or veneers.