We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Dental Fluorosis?

By Misty Wiser
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Dental fluorosis is a cosmetic condition that results when a child under eight consumes too much fluoride while the teeth are forming. The fluoride interferes with the proper crystalline development of tooth enamel, causing hypomineralization. Spotted, discolored teeth are common into adulthood, even when dental hygiene rules are followed. The condition is not reversible, and treatment is limited to cosmetic dental procedures.

Seemingly beneficial actions can cause dental fluorosis to develop. Exposure to excess fluoride can begin in infancy if parents often give fluoride drops to the baby. Small children may swallow toothpaste containing fluoride, causing irreversible damage to the enamel of the developing teeth. Drinking water containing fluoride may cause elevated fluoride levels over time, resulting in cosmetic changes to the teeth.

Mild dental fluorosis causes minor tooth defects. Small white spots or streaks are easily visible on the enamel of the tooth. Less than 25 percent of the tooth’s surface area is marked by the white spots.

Moderate dental fluorosis affects more of the surface area of the tooth. Up to half the tooth may be covered in white spots or streaks. Little changes may occur to the surface of the tooth, causing the tooth to have a rough appearance.

Severe dental fluorosis causes very noticeable color and surface changes to the teeth. The teeth may become pitted and brown. Mottling may cause the teeth to be misshapen and look like they are decaying.

Treatment of dental fluorosis can only disguise the cosmetic defects the condition causes. Simple dental abrasion of the tooth enamel may remove minor spots and streaks. Porcelain veneers can be applied to the surface of the tooth, completely covering any pitting or spotting. Another option is composite bonding, in which the surface of the tooth is scratched to provide an optimum bonding surface, and then a composite material is applied to the tooth to cover the damaged area.

Preventing dental fluorosis is accomplished by monitoring a child’s daily fluoride intake. Taking care to apply a small amount of fluoride toothpaste to a child’s toothbrush can minimize the fluoride accidentally ingested by the child. Some parents may decide to buy toothpaste that does not contain fluoride until the child is past the age of eight. Parents in areas that have fluoridated water may find it necessary to buy bottled water until the risk for developing dental fluorosis has past. Discontinuing infant fluoride drops may prevent future damage to the enamel of some children.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.