When your child's permanent teeth are forming, providing care for them before they erupt is extremely important. In some children, permanent teeth erupt with unusual, brown stains on them. While incoming permanent teeth can come in stained from medications like tetracycline taken during pregnancy, they can also be impacted by the use of flouride before their eruption. Find out more about how you can protect your child's teeth from stains caused by a condition called fluorosis.
Your Child's Oral Hygiene During The Toddler Years
When your child has new baby teeth in, he or she may have fun brushing them like a big kid. However, making sure your child does not use too much toothpaste is important to prevent fluorosis. Children should only use a tiny smear of tooth past on their brushes. Also, you need to remember to monitor your child during brushing to make sure he or she spits out toothpaste instead of swallowing it. Be sure your child rinses his or her mouth after brushing so the fluoride left after brushing doesn't stay on the tooth surface too long and so it does not get swallowed. Limiting your child's tooth brushing to twice a day is a good idea to prevent the over-application of toothpaste.
Steps To Prevent Fluorosis In Your Child
Most areas have fluoride in their drinking water, so learning how much is in your area's water is a good idea. When you know how much fluoride is in your drinking water, you will know whether or not to avoid using products that contain fluoride. Contacting local water authorities in your area is best for learning more about your water supply. Be sure to also check the possibility of fluoride in your well water. Your child needs to drink water daily and he or she needs some level of fluoride, so using other products with little to no fluoride in them is a good idea to prevent tooth stains. Discuss with your dentist about the toothpaste he or she recommends for introducing the lowest levels of fluoride into your child's system.
Being Careful About Fluoride Varnish Treatments
Having your child's teeth varnished with fluoride can help to lower the risk of cavities. However, following the instructions of your child's dentist is vital to avoid your child being over-exposed to fluoride and the risk of fluorosis. Fluoride varnish is painted on and stays on the teeth for up to 6 hours, then can be brushed off. Making sure your child brushes off fluoride varnish is important; he or she should not swallow it, but instead spit it out.
Taking care of your child's permanent teeth is important and should begin before they erupt. Discuss with your pediatric dentist about fluorosis and its treatment if you see signs of staining on your child's teeth as they come in. Contact a pediatric dentist in your area to learn more.