In most cases of such enamel fluorosis, the only symptom observed is in the form of almost unnoticeable white streaks or specks on the enameled surface of teeth, after they erupt out of the gums. Most of such cases are often too mild to even be a cosmetic concern.
However, in cases of excessive exposure of the children’s teeth to fluoride content, clearly visible discoloration of enamel or brown markings can be observed. In such significant cases, pitting can be seen on the surface of enamel. The appearance of the pitting gives the teeth a rough and unsightly texture.
Even in children above the age 2 of years, enamel fluorosis may be observed if they ingest more than the normally required fluoride. This could happen if more than the required fluoride supplements are accidentally administered to them. More often than not, this is often caused by over zealous parents that administer health supplements even when the toothpaste they use already contains the optimal amount of fluoride required for the normal growth and development of their teeth.
Another factor could be due to the sweet taste of fluoride-containing toothpaste. Children might like the taste of the toothpaste. Hence they tend to swallow the toothpaste mixture instead of spitting it out.
Parents need to monitor the amount of fluoride-containing toothpaste used by their children. The amount of toothpaste required can never be more than the size of a pea. There is also a requirement of the parents to educate their child by teaching them to spit out the toothpaste after brushing and not swallowing it.
Some parents may think that avoiding fluoride altogether may be the best option to prevent the issue altogether. However, this is not a recommended option as an optimal amount of fluoride is mandatory to prevent cavities or tooth decay.
Unfortunately, dental fluorosis is an irreversible process. The fluoride that is deposited on the enamel cannot be removed naturally. However, the discoloration can be made less visible by techniques such as tooth whitening. For cases of mild fluorosis, treatments such as microabrasion and composite bonding, or by coating the enamel with porcelain veneers are good options.