Oral exams & Cleanings
Fluoride is an element, which has been shown to be beneficial to teeth. However, too little or too much fluoride
can be detrimental to the teeth. Little or no fluoride will not strengthen the teeth to help them resist cavities.
Excessive fluoride ingestion by preschoolaged children can lead to dental fluorosis, which is a chalky white to
even brown discoloration of the permanent teeth. Many children often get more fluoride than their parents realize.
Being aware of a child’s potential sources of fluoride can help parents prevent the possibility of dental fluorosis.
Some of these sources are:
Too much fluoridated toothpaste at an early age.
The inappropriate use of fluoride supplements.
Hidden sources of fluoride in the child’s diet.
Two and three year olds may not be able to expectorate (spit out) fluoridecontaining toothpaste when brushing.
As a result, these youngsters may ingest an excessive amount of fluoride during tooth brushing. Toothpaste
ingestion during this critical period of permanent tooth development is the greatest risk factor in the development
Excessive and inappropriate intake of fluoride supplements may also contribute to fluorosis. Fluoride drops
and tablets, as well as fluoride fortified vitamins should not be given to infants younger than six months of age.
After that time, fluoride supplements should only be given to children after all of the sources of ingested fluoride
have been accounted for and upon the recommendation of your pediatrician or pediatric dentist.
Certain foods contain high levels of fluoride, especially powdered concentrate infant formula, soy- based infant
formula, infant dry cereals, creamed spinach, and infant chicken products. Please read the label or contact the
manufacturer. Some beverages also contain high levels of fluoride, especially decaffeinated teas, white grape
juices, and juice drinks manufactured in fluoridated cities.
Parents can take the following steps to decrease the risk of fluorosis in their children’s teeth: Use baby tooth
cleanser on the toothbrush of the very young child.
Place only a pea sized drop of children’s toothpaste on the brush when brushing.
Account for all of the sources of ingested fluoride before requesting fluoride supplements from your child’s
physician or pediatric dentist.
Avoid giving any fluoride containing supplements to infants until they are at least 6 months old. Obtain fluoride
level test results for your drinking water before giving fluoride supplements to your child (check with local water
Dr. Yousaf provides beautiful and healthy smiles with fluoride application for the residents of Stafford, Quantico Base, Manassas, Woodbridge, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Garrisonville, and Roseville, VA.