Everyone wants white, sparkling teeth. However, you want that whiteness to be uniform. White spots, however, are not the white teeth people desire. White spots on teeth can make a person feel self-conscious. What causes the white spots, and what can you do to avoid or get rid of them?
Causes of White Spots on Teeth
White spots can be caused by a variety of factors from poor dental hygiene to tooth trauma. Some common causes include,
- Fluorosis – Fluorosis occurs when you have excessive fluoride in your body. While fluoride is important to maintaining good oral hygiene, too much of anything can be harmful. Usually, over-exposure comes from swallowing excessive amounts of toothpaste or taking supplements that contain fluoride.
- Plaque – A prolonged buildup of plaque can lead to weakened enamel, resulting in erosion that causes white spots to occur.
- Decalcification – If you don’t get enough calcium in your diet, your teeth can lose the calcium they need, resulting in erosion of the enamel and tooth. This erosion usually appears as white spots.
- Diet – If your diet is low in calcium, you lose the primary nutrient you need for strong, healthy teeth. Likewise, a high sugar diet causes a build-up of bacteria and plaque on your teeth. Ensure that you maintain a healthy diet that includes calcium-rich leafy-green vegetables.
- Enamel hypoplasia – Hypoplasia is a condition where your teeth have less enamel than normal. The condition can result from a variety of factors including poor nutrition, antibiotics, and for infants, their mother smoking during pregnancy or premature birth.
How to Prevent White Spots on Teeth
While the causes of white spots are varied, you can take steps to prevent them from occurring. Some include,
- Ensuring you don’t receive too much fluoride by avoiding supplements and ensuring your drinking water contains safe levels or is fluoride-free
- For children, ensure they use the proper amount of toothpaste and don’t swallow their toothpaste
- Reduce sugary, acidic foods and drinks
- Clean braces thoroughly around the brackets and wires
- Discuss medications with your doctor to assess risk factors
- If you’re pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, quit smoking
How Do I Get Rid of White Spots?
White spots can go away with treatment. If you notice white spots on your teeth, contact your dentist for an appointment. Some common treatments for white spots include,
- Enamel microabrasion – A process that removes the white spots
- Tooth Whitening – Using teeth-whitening bleach to break down the spots and white teeth around them
- Dental Veneers – Tooth coverings that cover the white stains
Family Dentistry in Bucks County
Do you have white spots on your teeth? Have you fallen behind on your regular visits? If you’re looking for a dental clinic in Bucks County, Philadelphia or the surrounding area, contact us for an appointment for you and your whole family.