Can you have Too Much Fluoride?

Can you have Too Much Fluoride?

Do you like fluoride? Well, according to the ADA, it’s a cavity fighter, especially for developing teeth.  You’ve probably been getting enough of it, even without trying. It comes from the water, our food and supplements, and that all is used to create strong enamel, which is good for resisting tooth decay. After the teeth have come out, fluoride helps rebuild the enamel and can even reverse early tooth decay.

However, too much of something is an issue.  The mineral is safe and effective, but there are minor risks with too much fluoride, and we’ll discuss that here.

The main concern is dental fluorosis, which is mottled teeth and is seen commonly in children who have too much fluoride over a period of time where the teeth develop. This is usually caused by taking fluoride supplements, or swallowing the toothpaste they shouldn’t be having, or if they have too many fluoridated drinks as well.  This causes pits, streaks, and spots that develop on your teeth and they usually come up to above the gums. In severe cases, it can turn the enamel brown, gray or black and the teeth might become pitted in the most severe of circumstances.

But it isn’t a huge deal on the teeth. These streaks are oftentimes reversible, and treatable, and the condition is so mild that usually a dentist is the only person to detect it.  The chance of developing this exists to about age of 8 or so, since the teeth are still forming. 

Usually, infants won’t develop this, especially breastfed ones, since breast milk has very little fluoride in it. Even if they’re drinking fluoridated water, nursing moms and pregnant women don’t have a lot.  Moms who feed their babies should have formula-free water or milk to help with this.  you should look for options with minimal fluoride.  When teeth come in only use a little bit of fluoride, about the size of a grain or rice for blushing. Always make sure that they spit it out when they brush.

For ages 3-8, you will want to have them use about a pee size of the toothpaste, and don’t use fluoride mouth rinses for children under the age of 6, since they may end up swallowing it more than spitting it out.

This is a very treatable option, and really the best way to do it is to make sure that you do spit it out when you’re done.

Fluorosis isn’t associated with medical conditions that cause cavities or hurt the children’s health. In some cases, it isn’t even treated, such as on the back of the teeth. However, there are options if you’re so concerned.

You should use dietary supplements only when prescribed by dentists and physicians.  These supplements are good for children 6 months to 16 years old living in areas where they can’t get it in their water. 

You will get this naturally from your water too in case if you’re concerned.

You can have too much, but thankfully it isn’t a poison or anything, so you don’t have to worry about it potentially hurting you, if that’s what you’re so worried about.