Dentists are well versed in the use of fluoride for treatment and various procedures, and they often can give patients directions as to how to use fluoride on their own time when necessary. Fluoride is, of course, safe when used appropriately, and it is an effective means to many ends in those cases as well; however, the fact remains that there is risk involved in its usage. It attracts Zika-ridden mosquitos! Now, in comparison to that, the actual risks won’t seem so bad, but for the sake of clarity, no, it has no relation to Zika.
The potential hazard is based on patients oversizing their doses. There is absolutely a such thing as a toxic dosage level when it comes to administering fluoride, which is why dentists tell you how much you need for treatment. This toxic dosage level is no more absolute than the safety of fluoride usage itself. It very much depends on one’s body mass and physical weight. As such, children especially must be carefully supervised in their use or handling of any products that contain fluoride. In fact, most products that contain fluoride simply instruct consumers on their labels to “keep out of reach of children.” That’s not just some cliché to which you can afford to become desensitized; if your child is under the age of six in particular, it is highly recommended that you adhere to this instruction, and even if they are older than six, though, you must remain vigilant.
Fluorosis is real; it’s not just another –osis joke. Too much fluoride can actually be directly and solely responsible for causing defects to manifest in the enamel of your teeth, and these defects can be anything from nearly imperceptible streaks of white to loudly hideous discoloration to the tune of a brownish tinge. These defects are what we refer to as Fluorosis, and it can be a detrimental development in your oral health. It is typically observed in the mouths of those whose teeth are still forming, which is why there is special interest in ensuring that children specifically do not get their hands on copious amounts of fluoride that could potentially have adverse effects on their oral health.
Fluorosis is a condition that ordinarily results from contact with naturally-occurring fluoride, which can be present in well water for example. For those who still use well water, you should be concerned about the mineral content therein because it very well may be high in fluoride. It is highly recommended that, if you prefer to continue using your well water, you collect a sample and have it tested to determine what minerals are in it; fluoride could easily be one. In the event that you stain your children’s teeth with your well water—because who hasn’t done that?—you can technically fix this on your own if you make the commitment to be hyper vigilant about your children’s oral hygiene. On the other hand, though, it may be more likely that you rely on your dentist to use heavy duty bleach or some other abrasive to remove the stains.
Useful Information on Fluoride
Fortunately for you, it isn’t very easy to reach hazardous levels of fluoride intake because far fewercontemporary consumer products contain fluoride today. Any such products you do have, though, do need to be kept away from youngsters. You should also be wary of any and all flavored toothpastes with children simply because it makes them want to swallow the toothpaste, which instills what could be a harmful habit in the future. You should also make sure that you only allow a very tiny amount of fluoridated toothpaste on your child’s toothbrush even when they tend to the brushing themselves. Take extra care, in addition, to see to it that children under the age of six simply do not have to use toothpaste that is fluoridated because, regardless of what it tastes like, children of those ages are irrevocably more likely to swallow it.