Everything You Need to Know About White Spots on Your Teeth

Having a bright white smile is a sign of great dental health. Good nutrition, daily brushing, and regular trips to the dentist are vital for keeping your mouth healthy, and your smile shiny. However, while white teeth indicate excellent oral health, white spots can mean quite the opposite. These spots can be simply unsightly, or they can be signs of decay. Read on to find out how to identify white spots on your teeth, what causes them, and what you can do to prevent them.

How to Identify White Spot Lesions

White spots on teeth appear as chalky white blotches, typically most visible on the front teeth. This is due to the way damaged tooth enamel reflects light — and is why regular whitening procedures don’t eliminate the spots.

For people with braces, these lesions often appear as small lines around the brackets. Whether or not this means you have a cavity, these white spots can be unsightly and potentially indicative of more worrisome problems.

What Causes White Spots on Your Teeth

Dentist in PPE cleans teeth of young smiling boy in dentists chair in a dentist office White spots on teeth can appear on your teeth for several reasons: demineralization, fluorosis, enamel hypoplasia, and bacterial plaque.

Demineralization

Even in a perfectly healthy mouth, bacteria are present; it eats the residue left behind by food when you eat and creates acid as a byproduct. This acid can wear away at the minerals (calcium, fluoride, and phosphate) in tooth enamel. If the minerals in this hard outer layer are not replaced, it can lead to tooth decay.

Detecting white spots from demineralization is actually a good thing because it means you have caught the decay early. Allowing the white spots to go unchecked can lead to cavities, infected teeth, and even tooth loss. Immediate attention can restore oral health and remove the white spots from the teeth.

Enamel Hypoplasia

Enamel hypoplasia is unlike other causes of white spots on teeth. It is a developmental defect, as opposed to one caused by the environment. Hypoplastic teeth have thin or absent enamel, starting from the time the first tooth erupts.

There is a wide range of environmental and genetic factors that can lead to dental hypoplasia. This means that different teeth can be affected differently. But regardless of cause, it is important to bring in your child for a first checkup as soon as their first tooth comes in to catch any developing issues, preserve oral health, and prevent pain.

Bacterial Plaque

Female dentist examines a young girl’s teeth with a mirror to check for discoloration and white spots.White spot lesions can also form due to the buildup of bacterial plaque on the teeth. This can be a result of insufficient flossing or brushing. This tends to be a bigger issue in children and adults with braces. Not only does the orthodontia make accessing the teeth more difficult, but also food particles can get caught in the metal appliance.

To prevent this issue, regular cleanings by a dentist are vtal. Adults with uneven teeth can avoid this problem by getting removable clear aligners, which make it easier to avoid plaque buildup and white spots on teeth.

Can I Remove White Spot Lesions at Home?

Only professional treatment can remove white spots from the enamel surface of teeth. Due to the nature of the damage, restoring good oral hygiene alone will not reverse the effects. Also, do not use whitening strips. These will not work on the white spots and may even make them stand out more.

Icon dental treatment, which remineralizes tooth enamel, is the best treatment option for patients who want a quick, easy, and effective fix. However, the treatment only lasts 2-3 years. For patients interested in a more significant procedure with longer-lasting results, veneers or similar cosmetic dentistry options are available.

Preventing White Spots on Your Teeth

The most important thing you can do to prevent white spots on your teeth is to maintain proper oral hygiene. This means:

For younger children, this also means watching their fluoride intake and monitoring incoming teeth for any defects. It isn’t hard to maintain a pristine smile, and taking the small steps to keep you and your family healthy goes a long way.

Don’t Wait to Create Your Beautiful Smile

White spots on your teeth can hurt your confidence, and if you’re not careful they can hurt your oral health! You deserve a shiny, healthy smile you are proud of. So don’t wait! Schedule your appointment today! Or, call us any time at (215) 706-8734.

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