March 2, 2024

White spots on children’s teeth

White spots on milk teeth or permanent teeth of children cause concern among parents. They can be caused by excessive fluoride intake. This mild form of so-called fluorosis is unsightly, but usually harmless.

  • Studies show: Fluorides are well-studied and safe agents.
  • Correctly dosed fluoride prevents caries.
  • Too much fluoride can cause white spots on teeth (fluorosis).
  • Stains are usually harmless.
  • Different sources are to be counted on the fluoride balance.

Fluorides are one of the most thoroughly investigated active substances in the world. Fluoride intake is one of the most important measures to prevent caries. Because fluoride helps store minerals in tooth enamel and reduces acid solubility in tooth decay. This has been proven by numerous scientific studies.

There is no need to have any health concerns when using fluorides: If they are used correctly, they have been shown to be effective in more than 300.000 scientific studies show no evidence of a health hazard.

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Fluoridation: Yes! But in the right dose

The correct dosage is especially important for young children. Too little fluoride does not provide adequate protection against caries. Too much fluoride can be deposited in teeth before they erupt, causing white spots on permanent teeth. Fluorosis, as it is called, can occur when children up to the age of six constantly consume more than twice the recommended intake for fluoride.

Although the stains remain throughout life, they are usually a purely cosmetic problem. The enamel is intact. Only in cases of severe overdosage can brown tooth discoloration occur, which is not observed in Germany.

Here’s how: The right toothpaste for every age

Studies show fluoridated toothpaste best protects against tooth decay. Depending on the age of the children, the recommended amount varies. Parents should therefore choose a fluoridated toothpaste that suits the age of their child. The fluoride content and age recommendations are usually indicated on the tube.

From the first milk tooth, parents should brush their child’s teeth in the morning and evening. In the first two years of life, a thin film of children’s toothpaste with a fluoride content of 500 ppm (parts per million) once a day is sufficient. From the second birthday, children should brush twice a day with a pea-sized amount of this fluoride-containing toothpaste.

Once the first permanent teeth have erupted at around six years of age, it is essential that children use junior or adult toothpaste containing an average of 1000 to 1.Use 500 ppm fluoride twice a day, as this is much more effective in protecting against caries. The European Academy of Pediatric Dentistry even recommends it for all children over the age of two.

If caries activity is high, this should also be considered in Germany.

Fluoride balance: What else is important

Dentists recommend using fluoridated table salt in the home. Before a pediatrician or dentist prescribes or applies fluoride supplements – such as z.B. tablets, mouth rinses, gels or fluoride varnishes – he must ask whether the child is already receiving fluoride.

In addition to fluoride toothpaste and fluoridated table salt, fluoride-containing mineral water and special diets (soy-rich and/or balanced diets) should also be taken into account when fluoridating children. Drinking water in Germany is not fluoridated.