Friday, December 13 2013 8:55 AM EST2013-12-13 13:55:56 GMT
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For years dentists have been an advocate for fluoride in water, arguing the benefits greatly outweigh the risk. Dr. Steven Lantzy, a Dentist at Corner Dental in Toledo says, "The CDC believes putting fluoride in the water is one of the biggest advances in health in the 20th century."
But, most dentists agree that the amount of fluoride today is in more products than ever before causing dentists to see more Dental Fluorosis, a change in the appearance of the tooth enamel.
These changes can range from barely noticeable white spots to staining and pitting in more severe cases. However, the risk is only in children.
"Fluorosis occurs when you're a child, when those teeth are developing is when the fluorosis occurs, it cannot happen as an adult. You can take excellent care of your teeth, be great at flossing, still see your dentist regularly and still have fluorosis" says Lantzy.
So what causes Dental Fluorosis? The CDC says it's caused by taking in too much fluoride over a long period when the teeth are forming under the gums.
According to a 2010 survey by the Center for Disease Control, 41% of American adolescents have some form of fluorosis, a number that has greatly increased over the last 60 years.
Common sources of fluoride can be found in toothpaste, dietary prescription supplements, and professional dental products like mouth rinses, gels, and foams, water, and soda.
"The water that the pop is made from has fluoride more than likely because it's made in a municipal factory. Anytime that you're children are drinking drinks with water components in them you have the risk of having more and more and more fluoride put into their body." says Dr. Lantzy.
It's important to note that dental fluorosis is not a disease. It's cosmetic, but can be extremely difficult to get rid of. In fact Dr. Lantzy says you can try to bleach the teeth but in more severe cases you may have to do a veneer or crown.
To avoid Fluorosis, experts recommend talking with your family physician about how much fluoride your child can have.
To read more about Dental Fluorosis and recommendations from the CDC click here.
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