Health Tip: Too Much Fluoride Can Harm Young Children

Parents should monitor its use

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(HealthDay News) -- Although touted as an essential part of daily tooth care, fluoride can harm some children, according to Health Canada.

If children under 6 years old ingest high levels of fluoride while their teeth are forming, they can develop dental fluorosis, white areas or brown stains on the teeth. This may also damage the tooth enamel, causing tooth pain.

To minimize risks, parents shouldn't give fluoridated rinses to children under 6, and they should monitor the amount of toothpaste their child uses. Children should use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and avoid swallowing it. Parents should brush the teeth of children under 3 years old without using toothpaste.

The risk of fluorosis decreases when children reach the age of six, since their teeth have finished forming.

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