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White spots are lesions that can form on the teeth for many reasons, including disease, poor dental habits, diet, and environmental factors. You can have an excellent oral hygiene routine and still develop white spots on your teeth.
While white spots on teeth can be unsightly, they typically don’t indicate a serious issue. Once your dentist determines the cause, treatment can mask or reverse the lesions.
Learn about the safest ways to whiten your teeth.
The most common causes of white spots on teeth include:
Dental fluorosis occurs when you consume an excessive amount of fluoride. While fluoride has many benefits, too much can cause white lines or streaks on the tooth enamel.
Fluorosis is a cosmetic issue, not a health concern. It’s most common in children under 8 years old. It can happen due to swallowing toothpaste, drinking overly fluoridated water, or taking an incorrectly high dosage of fluoride supplements.
When bacterial plaque accumulates, it can erode enamel and create white spots. This is called demineralization.
Demineralization is caused by poor oral hygiene. The resulting white spots are usually signs of early cavities that a dentist can treat if caught quickly.
Enamel hypoplasia is a dental condition when the tooth enamel is thinner or less mineralized than usual. This condition can cause white spots to appear on the teeth.
Enamel hypoplasia is caused by numerous factors, including:
If your hypoplasia is severe, your dentist may recommend a sealant, composite filling, or crown.
Wearing braces can make it harder to clean the crevices where plaque accumulates. Plaque buildup can cause decalcification, leading to white spots on the teeth.
Practicing diligent oral hygiene while you have braces is essential. You should also visit your dentist regularly to screen for issues like decalcification.
Certain medications can cause white spots on your teeth.
Certain antibiotics can interfere with how the body absorbs nutrients and weaken enamel, making teeth more susceptible to bacteria and white spots.
Other lifestyle factors can influence the development of white spots on your teeth, including:
Although white spots on the teeth can be visually unappealing, they aren’t typically a cause for concern. However, some white spots can be signs of early tooth decay.
Talk to your dentist if you notice any changes in your teeth. They can evaluate your teeth, review your symptoms, and recommend a treatment plan if necessary.
See NewMouth’s top 10 teeth whitening products of 2022.
Here are three ways to get rid of white spots on teeth:
Using an at-home whitening kit to whiten your teeth can reduce the appearance of white spots and other stains. It can also brighten the color of your teeth to match the white spots.
Consuming too much fluoride can cause small white spots.
To prevent white spots, find out more about your daily fluoride intake. Ensure that you’re not swallowing any toothpaste or mouthwash. If you’re taking fluoride supplements, consult your dentist regarding continued use.
MI paste is a milk-based topical paste prescribed by your dentist. This product can help replenish calcium and phosphate to strengthen teeth and reduce the appearance of white spots.
To use MI paste, spread a layer over your teeth with your finger. Allow it to sit for 3 minutes. Avoid eating or drinking for 30 minutes after application.
Here are five ways to get rid of white spots on teeth in a dentist's office:
Your dentist may recommend whitening your teeth with a bleach-based solution to even out the color of your teeth.
Professional teeth whitening treatments use more robust bleaching solutions than those available over the counter, making them more effective.
Enamel microabrasion is a cosmetic procedure that involves scraping away a thin layer of surface enamel. Your dentist can use this technique to remove discolored sections of enamel.
For the greatest effect, combine enamel microabrasion with other treatments for white spots.
Dental bonding is a cosmetic dental procedure. It involves applying a custom-tinted composite resin to the teeth to cover imperfections and discoloration.
Bonding usually only takes one dental office appointment, and its results may last for several years.
Dental veneers can help to eliminate the appearance of white spots on your teeth when other techniques don’t work.
Veneers can dramatically alter tooth color and shape. They’re permanent cosmetic restorations that usually require some tooth reduction or reshaping.
Your dentist may recommend a topical fluoride treatment if you have enamel hypoplasia.
Fluoride encourages enamel remineralization and helps prevent tooth decay.
While white spots occur for many reasons, practicing good oral hygiene can help prevent them:
White spots are lesions that can develop on your teeth for many reasons. Common causes of white spots on teeth include dental fluorosis, enamel hypoplasia, and demineralization.
Most white spots are harmless, but some can be signs of early decay. White spot treatment includes bleach-based tooth whitening, enamel microabrasion, and dental veneers.
Practice good oral hygiene and visit your dentist regularly to prevent white spots. Consult with your dentist if you notice white spots developing.
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