When you look at your smile, what you would like to see are shiny, healthy-looking teeth. If you’re a large percentage of the modern generations, you would also like it if your teeth were radiant white. What we look for is an all-over white, a shade that reflects youth and vitality. Bright white spots are usually more of a nuisance than a feature we appreciate. Here, we point out what those spots are and what can be done to improve the appearance of your smile.
When Fluoride Equals Fluorosis
The American Dental Association recommends that we all obtain a moderate dose of fluoride on a regular basis. Fluoride is the mineral that has been recognized the most for its anti-cavity protection. This is why fluoride is added to most public sources of drinking water, and why most toothpaste products contain it. In most cases, the addition of fluoride is advantageous. However, some people are either susceptible to fluoride exposure or get a little too much.
Fluorosis develops on teeth that are still growing; the teeth that are still hidden beneath the gums. Once a tooth erupts from the gums, this cosmetic condition cannot occur. Knowing this, dentists provide tips for the use of fluoride in children aged 8 and younger. If you are concerned about the risk of fluorosis for your child, contact our office for personal assistance.
What to do about Fluorosis
When teeth are discolored in any way, there is usually an assumption that teeth whitening is the most appropriate method of correction. In most cases, this is correct, but not when we are dealing with white spots caused by fluoride. These spots are permanent and will not improve if teeth are whitened. The way that whitening may work on mild fluorosis is by lightening the enamel around small areas of discoloration.
A more reliable treatment for the correction of fluorosis is to cover the tooth. A convenient and long-term cosmetic treatment that is often considered is porcelain veneers. This treatment is performed over two office visits and can hide discoloration in addition to other concerns, such as gaps between teeth or disproportionate size and shape. In some cases, dentists recommend porcelain crowns. We are careful to propose treatment and do so only after a thorough consultation and examination of your teeth.
Find the solution to fluorosis at Advanced Dental Arts in Grayslake. Call (847) 223-5200 to schedule your visit.