Most people want to have whiter teeth, but, of course, they don’t want spots that are whiter than others. White spots on teeth are a common dental complaint but they don’t necessarily pose a threat to your overall dental health. Even if your white spots are not caused by an underlying health issue, they are still undesirable and unsightly, so you will want to protect yourself from developing them. There are a variety of causes of white teeth, and there are plenty of steps you can take to keep them at bay.
Demineralization is one of the causes that of white teeth that can lead to more serious issues. It happens as a result of excessive plaque buildup. This plaque eats away at the surface minerals on your teeth which causes a reduction in your enamel and creates tartar. To avoid demineralization, make sure to brush and floss daily and schedule regular cleanings with your dentist.
When children receive too much fluoride before their adult teeth are fully developed, they experience fluorosis. This isn’t dangerous, but it does lead to the development of uneven white spots on the teeth. In order to prevent fluorosis, make sure not to use too much toothpaste, especially when they are under 8 years old. You need to use only a small dab for kids, and don’t go any larger than a grain of rice for babies and toddlers.
Enamel Hypoplasia is when the layer of enamel on your teeth is too thin or if it lacks mineralization. This condition makes it more likely that your teeth with be stained by coffee or other abrasive substances. Many children are born with enamel hypoplasia, and it is often linked to smoking during pregnancy, malnutrition, and premature birth. Quitting smoking and eating healthily during pregnancy can help reduce your child’s risk of developing hypoplasia.
Braces are important, but mismanagement can lead to white spots on your teeth. Because it is more difficult brush and floss thoroughly, braces can lead to decalcification and demineralization. The areas under the brackets of the braces are particularly hard to clean and often stay the same color as other parts of the teeth change. The best way to prevent this if you have braces is to brush and floss thoroughly every day and avoid using whitening toothpaste so as to keep uniformity across all of your teeth.
Treatment for White Spots
There are several treatments available if you have been unable to successfully prevent the development of white spots on your teeth. Dentists may use Microabrasion to remove a thin layer of enamel. This gives a more homogenous look to your teeth and is done in conjunction with a whitening treatment. Bleaching is another option for a more uniform set of teeth. There are home-bleaching kits, but you will certainly benefit from having it professionally done by your dentist. Finally, veneers are an option for those with severe white spots. The dentist will affix a thin layer of porcelain to your teeth which will give them a white, uniform look.
To learn more about your options for preventing white spots contact Chad Byler, D.D.S. to schedule your appointment today!