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Fluoride can be a good thing, but too much, like anything, can affect your smile. Even though too much fluoride intake, known as fluorosis, cannot cause decay or cavities, it can discolor your teeth and it even make them appear “pitted.” Mottled enamel is another name for fluorosis and is a common disorder; it typically develops during enamel formation. Some of the classic signs of fluorosis are:

• Opaque or paper white spots covering about 25% of the tooth enamel in mild cases, and the more advances cases can take up half of the tooth’s surface or all of the surface.

• In its most severe form, fluorosis affects all the surfaces of the teeth and may result in brown stains that mar the teeth, which takes on a corroded-looking appearance.

• Physical damage in severe forms, which could be permanent.

Fluorosis usually peaks at about two-years-old. After about seven years of age, most children’s permanent teeth are completely developed, except their wisdom teeth; susceptibility to fluorosis is then dramatically reduced, despite their intake of fluoride. The severity of the disorder is dependent on several factors, such as children’s ages, weight, physical activity, bone growth, nutrition, child’s response, and genetic factors.

To learn if your child may have fluorosis or if you have any questions about treatment options, we welcome your call to Wellwood Family Dentistry. You can reach our dentist, Dr. Elliot Einbinder, by calling 410.486.3898 for a consultation on fluorosis and how it can affect children’s smile in Pikesville, Maryland and surrounding cities.