Have you ever smiled in the mirror and noticed white spots on your teeth? If this made you feel less than confident about your smile, you may want to know how to fix it and how to prevent white spots in the future.
What Causes White Spots on Teeth?
Let’s start with a little about what causes those white spots. It’s important to know that there is more than one possible cause, so you need to figure out which one (or ones) are most likely responsible for the spots on your teeth.
Common Cause #1: Dental Fluorosis
Dental fluorosis stems from childhood. Sometimes people consume too much fluoride as a kid which affects the enamel of permanent teeth. This condition doesn’t usually cause problems, other than a lack of confidence in your smile.
Common Cause #2: Enamel Hypoplasia
Another common cause is enamel hypoplasia, which also begins in childhood. It only affects developing teeth. Unfortunately, enamel hypoplasia affects more than your confidence. It can also leave you at greater risk for developing cavities.
Common Cause #3: Poor Dental Hygiene
One of the most common causes of white spots on your teeth is something you have complete control over–your dental hygiene. These spots are especially common in people who eat too many sugary or acidic foods and don’t properly care for their teeth. It also happens when people have braces and don’t follow a good oral care routine.
What Can You Do If You Notice White Spots on Your Teeth?
If you have these spots on your teeth, it’s not the end of the world. Depending on the underlying cause, there are some treatments available to correct the condition.
- Enamel microabrasion involves removing a small amount of enamel followed by professional teeth bleaching.
- Teeth whitening is an option for reducing the white spots.
- Dental veneers can cover affected teeth to hide the white spots.
- If your white spots occurred because of enamel hypoplasia, topical fluoride treatments or application of composite resin can improve your condition.
Tips for Preventing White Spots on Teeth
Since white spots usually occur during childhood, it’s important to support your child and encourage good oral hygiene practices. Make sure they use the proper amount of toothpaste and follow the ADA recommendations for fluoride.
People of all ages can fight white spots by limiting their intake of sugary and acidic foods and drinks. You don’t have to eliminate them from your diet, but limit your consumption and drink plenty of water afterward to help wash away the debris.
The most important thing to remember is that good oral hygiene is your best defense against white spots on teeth. Follow up with your dentist regularly and have your teeth professionally cleaned. Your dental team can check for any areas of concern and reach the more difficult places, like between your teeth.