Fluoride is an amazing mineral that strengthens your teeth and prevents tooth decay. Early exposure to fluoride is imperative in building strong, healthy teeth. However, too much fluoride ingestion in young children can result in fluorosis, faint white streaks or specks on the teeth. Though this condition is harmless, there are some actions your can take to prevent it from developing.
Fluorosis can only develop in children younger than 8 years old because it occurs while the permanent teeth are growing under the gum line. Those who already have their teeth erupted are not at risk of getting fluorosis, so any efforts to prevent this condition only need to be focused on young children.
Fluorosis occurs when too much fluoride is ingested. So for children younger than 3 years old, only a rice-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste should be used to brush their teeth. This amount should be increased to a pea-sized amount when the child is 3 to 6 years old. Supervise your child’s tooth brushing until they will spit the toothpaste out (rather than swallow it) by themselves.
Evidence has also been found that frequently mixing fluoridated water with baby formula could result in mild fluorosis. Occasionally using bottled water to mix into baby formula can help to prevent this from happening.