Proper amount of fluoride helps prevent and manage tooth decay. Fluoride works systemically as teeth are developing and topically once teeth emerge through the gums. Excessive fluoride that is consumed in over a long period of time during tooth development (age 8 and younger) can cause a condition called dental fluorosis.

Dental Fluorosis can cause visible changes to the enamel surface of the tooth.
Mild dental fluorosis appears as white spots on the tooth that are barely visible and do not affect dental function.
Moderate to severe dental fluorosis can cause extensive changes to the enamel, but is far less common.

The severity of dental fluorosis depends on dose (how much), duration (how long), and timing (when consumed) of fluoride intake.

Treatment options include

  • Teeth whitening

  • Icon resin infiltrate

  • Resin bondings

  • MI paste and microabrasion

Infant Formula and Fluorosis

Most infant formulas contain low levels of fluoride. Regularly mixing formula with community fluoridated water may increase the chance of your child developing mild dental fluorosis.

To decrease the chance of dental fluorosis, you can use low-fluoride bottled water. These waters are labeled de-ionized, purified, demineralized or distilled.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency (HHS) recommends that water systems practicing fluoridation adjust their fluoride content to 0.7mg/L (ppm). The CDC also recommends optimal level of 0.7mg/L (control range 0.6mg/L to 1.2 mg/L) community water fluoridation. You can visit www.waterboards.ca.gov for more information.

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