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Too Much Fluoride


While fluoride is very beneficial in strengthening teeth and preventing tooth decay, parents need to be concerned about the levels of fluoride their children are ingesting. Too much fluoride from fluoride supplements, toothpaste and other sources can lead to a condition in young children called fluorosis.

Fluorosis causes discolored teeth and in some cases will cause pitting in the enamel surface of the teeth. While fluorosis damage tends to be cosmetic in most cases, excessive fluoride intake can be harmful.

Fluorosis appears more often in young children whose developing teeth are more vulnerable. Children are also the most numerous recipients of the "halo effect" - well intentioned over exposure to fluoride from a multitude of sources. Fluoride is in toothpaste, fluoride supplements, fluoride mouth rinses and, in some areas, fluoride is added to the water supply. Fluorosis is not caused by fluoride in city water systems but by over-exposure through an accumulation of sources.

The best way to prevent childhood fluorosis is know if your public water supply contains fluoride and to then monitor your children's intake accordingly. If your children use toothpaste that contains fluoride, be sure they are using only a pea size amount of toothpaste and not covering all the bristles like in a TV commercial. Be sure they try not to swallow toothpaste containing fluoride. Before giving your child fluoride supplements, confirm with Dr. Sharifi whether or not additional fluoride is needed. Exposure to normal levels of fluoride is definitely beneficial, but too much fluoride can be harmful.


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This health article is made available by
Dr. M. Naser Sharifi DDS a Dentist. Family Dentistry office at 253-15 80th Ave, Floral Park, NY 11004. Dr. Sharifi is easily accessible from Albertson, Bayside, Bellerose, Cambria Heights, Elmont, Floral Park, Flushing, Franklin Square, Fresh Meadows, Garden City, Glen Oaks, Great Neck, Hollis, Jamaica, Little Neck, Manhasset, Mineola, New Hyde Park, Oakland Gardens, Queens Village, Roslyn, Roslyn Heights, Saint Albans, Valley Stream, West Hempstead, and Williston Park.

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