Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay. Since the early 1950s, fluoride has been added to municipal drinking water systems, over-the-counter toothpastes, mouthwashes and some prescription multivitamin or fluoride supplements. Yet, too much daily intake of fluoride by babies and children up to age 8 may cause a condition called “fluorosis.”
For the most part, fluorosis is a cosmetic problem associated with discoloration or mottling of the tooth enamel. Although uncommon, more severe cases of fluorosis are associated with brittle bones, calcified ligaments and bone breakage.
Here are simple measures to prevent accidental fluoride overdose or excess chronic intake of fluoride:
Parents and caregivers should keep all toothpastes and mouthwashes well out of the reach of small children when not in use. If you have any questions about an accidental ingestion or safe use of any dental hygiene product, call IPC at 1-800-222-1222.