The structural integrity of the hard tissues in the mouth is influenced by the nutritional status of the mother during fetal development and by that of the child during the early years, when the permanent teeth are being formed (especially important are adequate availabilities of calcium and vitamin D). An excessive intake of fluoride during the period when the enamel of the primary or secondary teeth is being formed will lead to the characteristic defect of fluorosis. Except in rare circumstances, when the intake of fluoride is very high, this condition is usually minor, with no functional significance, and is visible only on professional inspection.
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