There are various possible causes for white spots on teeth such as poor dental hygiene, eating many sugary and acidic foods, enamel hypoplasia, and dental fluorosis. It feels undesirable for many people to have white spots on their teeth. From a medical point of view, there is no cause for concern.
This article explores the causes of white spots on teeth and gives 11 tips on how to treat and prevent them.
Causes of White Spots on Teeth
The most common cause of white spots on teeth is dental fluorosis. When young, if you consumed too much fluoride as a child, there is a higher likelihood that you may have white spots on your teeth. It is a harmless condition and usually develops before your teeth breaks the gums.
This is a condition that occurs when the enamel of the teeth is not properly formed. It also occurs during one’s childhood when the teeth are developing. However, it may increase the rate of tooth decay.
Other possible causes of white spots on teeth include eating much sugary or acidic food and poor dental hygiene.
The type of treatment for white spots on teeth will depend on its underlying cause and the condition of one’s teeth. Here are the 11 possible treatments:
Microabrasion may be done to treat your white spots. In this procedure, a doctor removes a small amount of enamel from your teeth to lower the appearance of the white spots.
Bleaching or teeth whitening
This treatment helps to reduce the appearance of the white spots and stains. There are a variety of products to whiten the teeth such as paste and strips. These products are available online and over-the-counter.
Dental veneer is a protective covering which is thin and is attached to the front surface of the teeth. They effectively conceal the white spots and other blemishes.
Topical fluoride is applied to those with enamel hypoplasia. This can encourage the enamel to develop on the teeth and stop tooth decay.
If you have enamel hypoplasia, a doctor may use composite resin to fill in cavities and bond the external enamel of the teeth. However, it is not suitable for people with many white spots on their teeth.
Practice of excellent dental hygiene may help prevent white spots on your teeth such as gum disease, tooth decay, and stains.
According to American Dental Association, one should brush twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste and floss between the teeth at least once daily.
In most cases, people develop white spots before they are at the age of 10.
Follow the tips below to help you prevent white spots to develop on children’s teeth:
Use water free of fluoride
Babies who are fed largely on infant formula, their milk can be made up with water that is free of fluoride to avoid excessive buildup of the fluoride in the teeth.
Use the right quantity of toothpaste
Young children will often fail to spit out toothpaste. Using a small amount may help lower the exposure of fluoride. Supervise your children when brushing to ensure they use the appropriate amount of toothpaste and do not swallow.
Test of the well water
Those people connected with private water should have their water tested for fluoride every year. This is very important for young children since levels of fluoride can vary in different places.
Follow the recommendations of fluoride supplement
There are dietary fluoride supplements recommended by ADA for those children between 6 months and 16 years. This is mainly for children who live in the areas without fluoridated water since they are normally at a higher risk of getting tooth decay.
Reduce acidic and sugary drinks and foods
Food and drinks with high amount of acids and sugars can damage the tooth enamel and increase tooth decay.
Such foods and drinks to avoid include citrus juices, sugary sweets and hard candies, and sodas and drinks which are high in sugars.
Drink water after consuming these foods to wash off your teeth and reduce the chances of damage. Using a straw to drink may also help.
See a dentist
If you get concerned about your dental health or that of your child, talk to your family dentist.
Although, white spots on teeth are not a cause for concern, enamel hypoplasia can increase the risk of dental decay and damage.
Your dentist may evaluate the condition of your teeth and recommend the appropriate treatment, when necessary.
You need not to be excessively concerned about the white spots on your teeth and you may only treat them for cosmetic purposes if you wish.
However, if you are worried about the white spots on your teeth, see your dentist for examination.
Edited by: Jessa (Feb. 19, 2019)