If you have noticed white spots on your teeth, you are not alone. Many people experience this issue at some point in their lives. There are several reasons you might develop these spots, but fortunately, several treatments are available. This article will discuss the causes of white spots and the various treatment options available to you. We hope that the information provided helps you make the best decision for your dental health!
Causes of White Spots on Teeth
There are many reasons that you might develop white spots on your teeth. The most common cause is poor dental hygiene. If you do not brush and floss regularly, plaque can build up on your teeth. This plaque can then harden and become calculus, which is more difficult to remove. As the calculus builds up, it can start to wear away the thin layer of enamel on your teeth, leading to the development of white spots.
Another common cause of white spots is tooth decay. When you experience a cavity, the decayed area of the tooth will start to form a white spot. If left untreated, this decay can progress and eventually lead to a lost tooth.
Fluorosis can be another cause of spots on teeth. This is often a result of too much fluoride ingested during childhood. Too much fluoride can be consumed by swallowing toothpaste, excessive fluoride in drinking water, and fluoride supplements.
An individual’s diet can contribute to the development of white spots on teeth. Acidic foods and beverages such as citrus fruits and acidic beverages such as soft drinks, coffee, and sports drinks, can wear at tooth enamel. This breakdown of enamel can lead to white spots, yellow spots, or even brown spots becoming visible on your teeth.
Poor oral hygiene when wearing braces can also lead to white spots on the teeth. Bacteria can grow around the brackets of braces, leading to plaque development that can eat away at tooth enamel and lead to discoloration of your teeth.
Understanding Enamel Hypoplasia
Enamel hypoplasia is another condition where the enamel on your teeth is either thinner than normal or missing altogether, which can change the color of your teeth. This can lead to a variety of dental problems, including cavities, tooth decay, and even loss of teeth.
Treatment Options for White Spots on Teeth
There are several treatments available for white spots on the teeth. The best option will depend on the underlying cause of the spots. If poor dental hygiene is to blame, you will need to brush and floss more regularly. You may also need to use a special toothbrush or mouthwash.
Consulting Dentist About Fluoride Overexposure
If tooth decay is the cause, you will need to see a dentist for a filling or other treatment. If you have dental fluorosis, you may need to use a special toothpaste or mouthwash as directed by your dentist. If your diet is the cause, you will need to avoid acidic foods and beverages. You may also need to brush your teeth more often.
Maintaining Oral Hygiene to Prevent Tooth Decay
If you have white spots due to braces, it is essential to practice good oral hygiene. Part of good oral hygiene includes brushing and flossing after every meal and snack. You may also need to use a special toothbrush or mouthwash to help prevent plaque buildup around your braces.
Using Veneers for Enamel Hypoplasia
Another treatment option for white spots on your teeth would be porcelain veneers. Dental veneers are thin and custom-made porcelain covers that bond to the surface of your teeth. The porcelain used is tooth-colored so that it won’t be noticeable compared to your natural teeth.
Dental veneers cover up minor imperfections, giving you a quick smile makeover that aligns your teeth and gives you a permanently white smile. Porcelain veneers are often quickly obtained, stain-resistant, natural-looking, and long-lasting. They are often only applied to front teeth as back teeth are often not visible, so a porcelain veneer would not be necessary on the back teeth.
Teeth Whitening to Address Enamel Discoloration
Teeth whitening is another option that can remove white spots on your teeth. Teeth whitening involves using hydrogen peroxide gel to break down stains on a patient’s tooth enamel. Our dentists and dental hygienists will apply the gel to custom-made trays that fit perfectly over your teeth. You will then relax in the chair for a set time before the hygienist removes the trays.
Teeth whitening is often used to remove white spots on teeth caused by sugary and acidic foods and beverages. Teeth whitening can also be used to remove other tooth discoloration, such as brown spots and yellow spots on teeth. Be aware that home teeth whitening products such as fluoride toothpaste, teeth bleaching kits, and fluoridated water can lead to further tooth discoloration or enamel hypoplasia. Always consult with your dentist before using any of these products.
The Benefits of Enamel Microabrasion
Enamel microabrasion is another treatment option available to treat white spots on teeth. This involves your dentist applying a naturally occurring acid and a gentle abrasive to your teeth and polishing your teeth. This involves removing plaque that can build on your teeth, leaving you with white teeth.
Preventing White Spots on Teeth
Good dental hygiene is the number one way to prevent white spots from appearing on teeth. Prevent plaque buildup with regular brushing and flossing. Use a pea-sized amount of fluoride-containing toothpaste. You can also use an electric toothbrush designed to help prevent the buildup of plaque and give you a better cleaning than a standard toothbrush. Go for regular dental checkups and follow the treatment plan provided by your dentist.
The Role of Diet in Preventing White Spots
A good diet can help with preventing white spots from appearing on teeth. Your tooth’s enamel can break down with the consumption of acidic and sugary beverages and foods. Reducing sugary drinks and snacks can help promote good overall oral health. A low calcium diet can also contribute to the breakdown of enamel so ensure you are getting enough calcium in your diet.
Drinking bottled water with a balanced PH is a better alternative to drinking tap water. Tap water often has high fluoride levels that contribute to the deterioration of tooth enamel. Vitamin deficiencies can also contribute to white spots developing on teeth. For children especially, a well-rounded and balanced diet plays a crucial role in preventing discoloration in teeth.
It is important to consult with your dentist if you notice white spots appearing. Your dentist will be able to direct you on what treatment plan would be best suited for you, depending on the condition of your enamel.
Educating Children on Proper Oral Care
Teach your children about good oral hygiene to prevent them from developing white spots on their teeth in the future. It is important to show them to brush with a pea-size amount of recommended toothpaste. Do not allow your child to swallow toothpaste. Provide your child with fluoride-free water to limit excess fluoride exposure. Ensure your child’s teeth are being thoroughly brushed and flossed at least twice a day.
Teach your child the importance of a healthy diet and getting essential minerals and nutrients to promote healthy enamel. Children with poor diet and oral health are at a high risk of developing tooth discoloration along with being at risk of having their teeth break.
Book Your Dental Consultation Today at Mann Family Dental
If you are concerned about the white spots on your teeth, we encourage you to make an appointment with our office. We will work with you to determine the best course of action and help you achieve the beautiful, healthy smile you deserve!
We offer many cosmetic dental services to our Manchester, NH residents. Let us help you boost your self-esteem with a beautiful smile!