Having white spots on your teeth can put quite a damper on your smile. The condition of having white spots on your teeth is scientifically known as hypocalcification and it is quite common than most people think.
This is caused by various factors including poor oral hygiene, having a dry mouth and loss of minerals in your teeth.
Good news is, you can get rid of the white spots by visiting a dentist who will treat them. Be warned this can be quite pricy. You can also implement cost-effective methods by making use of home remedies.
It’s not an uncommon occurrence to look in the mirror and find you have stains on your teeth. And these stains can come in many different colors. They may be brown, yellow or even a temporary bright blue or red from eating brightly colored foods or candy. However, what if these discolorations are white? Where do these white spots come from and what can be done about them?
White spots can sometime appear on perfectly healthy teeth. One such time this can happen is when the enamel of developing adult teeth is exposed to too much fluoride – a condition known as fluorosis. Fluorosis doesn’t damage the teeth but does unevenly bleach them. These leave the teeth with white blotches and spots.
To avoid these discolorations from fluorosis, limit the amount of fluoride toothpaste you use when brushing your child’s teeth. The tiniest smear of toothpaste on the brush is sufficient for babies and toddlers, and not much more than that for younger children.
Later, when your child begins brushing his or her own teeth, encourage them to not overdo the amount of toothpaste they use.
Another, and more harmful cause of white spots on the tooth’s surface is demineralization. Demineralization is the gradual leaching of vital minerals, such as calcium, from the tooth enamel. Exposure to the acid in food or drink and plaque build up are the two most common causes of demineralization. Individuals wearing braces are quite susceptible to this.
Brushing and flossing are your two best weapons in the fight against demineralization.
Everyone must maintain good oral hygiene habits, but those wearing braces must be especially careful to clean away all plaque and food debris around the brackets in order to avoid white spot when the braces are removed.
And, for everyone, regular visits to the dentist are a must.
A less common, and more difficult to control, situation comes when the white spots on the enamel is caused by the condition known as hypoplasia. Enamel hypoplasia leaves the teeth with thinner enamel than normal, leaving the teeth more vulnerable to stains and decay. Causes for enamel hypoplasia in a child’s teeth include premature birth, malnutrition, and mother smoking while pregnant.
The presence of too much bacteria in your mouth can contribute to the formation of white spots on your teeth. It’s because bacteria’s favorite place to grow is on our teeth. This is mostly due to the fact that our mouths check all the boxes that bacteria need to thrive - specifically a highly acidic environment that becomes even more acidic each time we eat or drink something. To avoid bacteria overgrowth in your mouth, make sure that you’re brushing and flossing every single day. It only takes 12-24 hours for plaque to start building up enough to support bacteria growth, making brushing and flossing even more important if you want to avoid white spots.
Your diet can cause white spots to appear on your teeth. This is especially true if you have a diet low in foods containing calcium. As you learned earlier in this post, calcium is the foundation of teeth. When our teeth are deprived of that calcium, they don’t have the nutrients needed to build strong, healthy tooth enamel. Foods rich in calcium that may help you build tooth enamel include cheese, almonds, and leafy greens. Avoiding super acidic foods can also help reduce the chance you will develop white spots on your teeth, as acid reflux can trigger acid production and breakdown enamel.
Some medications may cause white spots on your teeth. Specifically, studies show that antibiotics like amoxicillin can impact the way your mouth builds tooth enamel, making it easier for bacteria to eat through tooth enamel. This happens because antibiotics have the potential to interfere with the way your body absorbs nutrients. Children are the most at-risk group when it comes to the impact of medications on tooth enamel.
Smoking tobacco during pregnancy can cause white spots to appear on your child’s teeth. This happens because smoking tobacco during pregnancy can accelerate and promote the process of enamel hypoplasia. As discussed above, enamel hypoplasia ultimately thins the protective enamel on children’s teeth, making them vulnerable to infection and discoloration.
High fever can cause white spots on your teeth, although children are the most susceptible. This is because when you have a fever and feel dehydrated, your mouth and teeth usually take a back seat to feeling better. That means during the spell of a fever, acid has an opportunity to take advantage of a dry mouth and cause damage in the form of white spots on teeth. The best way to avoid this is to ensure your kiddo stays hydrated during a fever and to double down on oral care during their battle with whatever may be causing their fever.
Having braces can cause white spots on your teeth. If you have had braces at any point in your lifetime, you may notice faint white spots or thing white lines around the edges of where the brackets were glued to your teeth. This happens when minerals are stripped from the tooth due to a high amount of acidity present in the mouth. To avoid white spots popping up, it’s crucial to remove all food particles and debris from your braces as often as possible. In general, good oral hygiene can help reduce the chances of you being left with white spots on your teeth once your braces are removed.
A number of approaches can help eliminate white spots, but the best procedure will depend on the severity of your condition and how much it costs to treat. Here are some options to discuss with your dentist:
This procedure involves gently removing a thin layer of surface enamel, thereby improving the appearance of your teeth. Dentists state that microabrasion is often combined with tooth-whitening treatments for a truly high-quality aesthetic.
Bleach-based tooth whitening can help balance the color of your tooth enamel. For the safest results, it is recommended either an in-office whitening procedure or a dentist-supervised, take-home kit. Over-the-counter (OTC) bleaching products and whitening toothpastes are also available, but the result may take longer and not be as dramatic.
This is an excellent option when you have significant patches of discoloration that can't be eliminated with bleaching alone. Custom fabricated with thin layers of ceramic material, veneers are bonded to the front of your teeth. Minimal tooth structure is removed to fit a veneer (less than a millimeter), and the end result is natural-looking teeth that resist future stains.
White spots on teeth should not be ignored as they may be the first sign of tooth decay at times. White blotches or areas that appear whiter under the tooth enamel are not always a sign of tooth decay. Because of weak tooth enamel, a lack of calcium in the diet, consuming too many acidic foods, or wearing braces, the white spots may appear.
Most studies suggest using toothpaste to remineralize your teeth in situations where decalcification has caused white spots to appear in your teeth.
You can also make an eggshell toothpaste to help eliminate white stains and lines from your teeth and remineralize your teeth. Eggshells contain high volumes of calcium and other essential minerals for healthy teeth.
You should avoid foods that weaken tooth enamel if you have a problem with white spots on your teeth. As mentioned in this article, acidic and sucrose foods weaken the protective layer on your teeth and it may result in the emergence of even more cavities and white teeth spots.
As well as avoiding or limiting certain foods that have a negative impact on your mouth's health, you can include certain foods that help boost dental health. This can ensure you don't have a mineral deficiency that can lead to white spots on your teeth.
For this method, it is best to use coconut oil. Take two tablespoons of coconut oil and swish it around your mouth for about 10 minutes. Wash your mouth out with warm water after spitting out the oil. Coconut oil has lauric acid in it that helps remove potential plaque and gets rid of white spots.
Take some hydrogen peroxide and mix it with some baking powder. Take your wet toothbrush and after dipping it into this mixture, brush your teeth for two minutes. Use clean water to rinse your mouth and repeat the procedure as needed. Hydrogen peroxide has bleaching properties and is quite effective at whitening teeth.
Turmeric is a great way to remove stains from your teeth and as such will work well for the white spots too. Take some turmeric powder and mix it with salt and lemon juice to create a paste. Using clean fingers, gently rub this paste onto your teeth for about 2 minutes. Finally, rinse your mouth out with water.
Vinegar contains acidic properties that effectively get rid of white spots from teeth. All you have to do is mix some vinegar and baking soda to make a paste. Using this paste brush your teeth for 2 minutes and rinse it out with water. It is best to do this weekly.
Due to the citric acid contained in lemons, it is a great way to get rid of white spots from teeth. Take some lemon juice and add a pinch of salt. Rub this mixture into your teeth for 2-3 minutes and then rinse out with water. This mixture will help get rid of white spots as well as nourish your gums and get rid of bad breath.
If you're expecting a baby, talk with your dentist or obstetrician about fluoride intake and any medications that could interfere with your child's developing teeth. Are you a smoker? Now's a good time to start the process of quitting. Children under the age of six can incur these spots too, and should therefore use only pea-sized amounts of fluoride toothpaste (make sure they don't swallow). If your tap water is fluoridated, and most are, check these levels and discuss the need for fluoride supplements with your dentist. Keep in mind bottled water, formulas, drinks and many foods may contain fluoride as well.
If you or your child is wearing braces, help them brush and floss around these brackets and wires regularly to reduce the risk of white spots ruining the look of their straight teeth when they come off. Don't let acute discoloration keep you from smiling. Like most oral issues, figuring out how to get rid of white spots on teeth may be easier than you thought.