Whether it’s white spots on teeth after removing braces, whitening, waking up, while sick or pregnant, we’ve outlined a possible solution to get rid of these spots on your teeth. And most importantly, what causes the spots in the first place given that babies, 1, 2, & 7-year-olds, and teenagers are not exempted. The same can be said for young and older adults.
What are White Spots on Teeth?
A tooth that is sparkly white is often something to rejoice over. It is a sign of great dental health and can boost a person’s confidence to smile more often. However, white spots appearing on the teeth in the form of discoloration can be a thing of concern. What is first noticeable, is that the shade of white may be significantly different from the remaining teeth. And when that happens, it can really be bothersome.
On the other hand, white spots on teeth that won’t go away are evident in people of all ages. A baby may have it as well as toddlers. The same can be said for pregnant women. There are even cases when the whiteness comes and goes occasionally. In line with that, some people experiencing this problem have been quick to point fingers that it may have been caused by braces, antibiotics, brushing, fluoride, etc. Nonetheless, read on to see what causes white spots on teeth.
White Spots on Teeth Causes
The white spots on teeth causes are numerous and some of these include:
1. Dental Fluorosis:
A child that consumes excess fluoride may latter grow into an adult with white spots on their teeth. The consumption may be from eating fluoride toothpaste or drinking excess fluoridated beverages. It is, however, worth noting that Flouride is beneficial to keep tooth decay at bay, but its impact in discoloration comes when it is consumed in excess.
On the other hand, dental Fluorosis may occur even before the teeth comes out from the gums. Asides from leaving white spots, Fluorosis can also lead to pitted enamel thereby making it harder to brush the teeth.
2. Enamel Hypoplasia:
Enamel Hypoplasia is a condition where the enamel in a person’s teeth is formed improperly. It can be compared to dental fluorosis that occurs during the developing stages of a child’s teeth. What’s more, this condition can be triggered due to nutritional deficiency, leading to a loss of mineral in the tooth.
Nutrient absorption in the tooth can be impacted by celiac disease, which makes the immune system week. The same goes for certain antibiotics that may make it difficult for the body to absorb nutrients. Enamel Hypoplasia can also occur in children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy.
3. Poor Dental Hygiene:
Poor dental hygiene from not brushing or flossing regularly can lead to plaque accumulation on your teeth. Plaque can also be caused by wearing braces, hence, you may notice white spots on your teeth after removing these braces. In this case, the plaque has built up beneath the location of brackets.
And being unable to remove all the plaque situated between these brackets may cause demineralization of the tooth. And when that happens, the tooth may be rough or feel chipped.
4. Sugary Foods
Consuming sugary foods in excess can lead to white spots on the teeth. Here, acidic plaque may be formed on the teeth thereby eliminating the enamel on your teeth.
5. Acidic Foods
Like sugary foods, excess acidic foods can also form white spots on the teeth. The enamel that protects your teeth may be damaged from eating foods that are highly acidic. Some acidic food includes lemons, grapefruit, and even oranges. Certain drinks like sodas are also highly acidic.
6. Leaving the Mouth Open While Asleep
Some people sleep with their mouth closed, while others leave it open. And if you fall in the second category, there may be white spots on your teeth after waking up. The spots you’re seeing is due to the dehydration of the surface of your teeth’s enamel.
Nonetheless, these are temporary spots and they will leave once saliva is on the teeth. And if you notice white spots on teeth while sick, it may be because you slept overnight with your mouth open.
7. High Fever
High fever is also a major culprit of white spots on the teeth. When a person has a high fever, the person may feel dehydrated. The acid may also damage the teeth at this point due to the high fever. Accordingly, ensure that you drink enough water when you are having a high fever. Much more, it is most especially essential that you improve your oral hygiene at this time since feeling sickly may be used as an excuse not to brush or floss.
Research has shown that certain drugs such as antibiotics including amoxicillin may have a hand in white spots on the teeth. This is because these drugs can impact on the mouth’s ability to form enamel on the teeth. Bacteria may also enter the enamel. Over and above that, antibiotics may also impact how the body absorbs nutrients. A certain group of people that are at the highest risk of being impacted by these medication effects on the tooth is children.
White Spots on Teeth Treatment
There are different white spots on teeth treatment and your dentist will be in a better position to recommend which is best for you. And before trying out white spots on teeth treatment at home, get recommendations from a medical professional. So, if you’re wondering, are white spots on teeth reversible, they sometimes are. Some ways this can be made possible through treatment include:
Microabrasion involves the use of mild abrasion to eliminate a layer of enamel on the surface of the teeth. Once that is done, it can help to eliminate the white spots on the teeth and even enhance the appearance of the teeth.
A doctor may recommend teeth bleaching to get rid of white spots. The procedure improves the color of the surface of the tooth, thereby giving it a more natural color. In this case, the entire tooth is lightened which makes the resulting color blend with all the tooth in the mouth.
While teeth bleaching is a possible solution, it may not always be recommended. For instance, if you tend to have white spots after consuming too much fluoride, it means these spots may return in no time.
A porcelain veneer is used to hide white spots on the teeth. Hence, these spots may not be removed entirely, but they can be made hidden. Nonetheless, before a doctor recommends this treatment, they often consider the level of spots on the teeth first. After which custom porcelain may be bonded to the teeth’s surface.
4. Chin Straps:
If you’re having difficulty keeping your mouth close while you sleep, it could be at the expense of developing spots on your teeth. Despite this, try using a chin strap and it’ll help your mouth to stay closed while you’re asleep.
5. Nasal Decongestants:
Another reason why you may find it hard to keep your mouth close while asleep is if you have trouble breathing due to nasal congestion. Hence, you may unintentionally leave your mouth slightly open to get in more air. However, a better approach is to take nasal decongestants. They’ll free your nose and make it easier for you to breathe.
6. Topical Fluoride:
Topical fluoride may be applied in the teeth especially if the person has enamel hypoplasia. This application may lead to the growth of enamel on the surface of the teeth, thereby keeping tooth decay at bay.
7. Composite Resin:
The dentist may also use composite resin on the teeth of people with enamel hypoplasia. The application will fill cavities that may be present in the teeth while also helping to bond the outer enable of the teeth.
Can My Dentist Remove White Spots?
A permanent change in your tooth’s structure is known as white spot lesions. These changes are non-removable, however, they can be reduced to a certain level. Your doctor’s ability to reduce these spots can be tied to several factors. Some of these factors are:
- The size of the white spots
- The level damage of the enamel
- What led to the white spots on the teeth
- The number of spots on the teeth to be removed
When Should I See a Dentist?
Irrespective of the medical books or online resources on Reddit, Facebook, Wikipedia, etc. which you seek to learn how to remove white spots on your teeth, the best way to go is to visit a dentist. Therefore, when you notice signs of white spots, contact your dentist to ensure it does not escalate into other problems. It could possibly lead to cavities.
What’s more, there are cases where your dentist may recommend capping the teeth. The latter will see that a veneer or white filling is used for the teeth.
Preventive Tips for White Spots on Teeth
The preventive tips for white spots on teeth will save you from having these in the first place and how to get rid of them. Therefore, consider the following to keep white spots on your teeth at bay:
1. Good Dental Hygiene:
If you must keep white spots at bay, you need to brush and floss regularly. Flossing can be done every night before bed, while an electric toothbrush can be used in the morning.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the recommended number of times to brush is twice daily. Fluoride toothpaste is also to be used, and flossing carried out between the teeth. You can also ask your dentist to recommend a good toothpaste for you that will help in removing plaque and preventing them. Over and above that, each time you eat, it might be helpful to rinse your mouth with water.
2. Let Your Kids Brush with the Right Amount of Toothpaste
When it comes to kids, they also need to brush their teeth regularly. However, only a pea-sized toothpaste is needed at each to ensure that they are not using too much fluoride. In line with that, help your kids to reduce their daily beverage intake each day. This is due to the fluoride that is also present in juices, soft drinks, etc.
Asides from using the right amount of toothpaste each time, ensure that your kids spit out this paste. You’ll need to supervise your child and encourage them to do so while they brush. Practicing this will ensure that they do not consume too much fluoride.
3. Consume Less Sugary and Acidic Foods:
One way to protect your teeth’s enamel is to reduce your consumption of sugary and acidic food. If these are not controlled, it can damage the enable on the teeth. Some foods that are highly acidic include lemons, grapefruit, oranges, etc. Likewise, candies, sweets, sugary drinks are also not to be consumed in excess.
And each time you consume each of these, you can drink water to wash them down from your mouth. The latter will ensure that they are not stuck to your teeth. It is also advisable to quit smoking if you’re pregnant to ensure that your unborn child does not develop white spots on their teeth later in life.
4. Use Flouride Free Water:
One more way to prevent the fluoride buildup on the teeth is to use fluoride-free water to make your baby’s instant formula.
5. Visit a Dentist:
Your best bet would be to visit your dentist who will examine your teeth and make recommendations accordingly. Therefore, if you have any concerns in this aspect, book an appointment. Asides from white spots, you may also be concerned that the spots are growing in size and now bigger. Therefore, professional help is needed in this case.
White spots on teeth from braces, medication, smoking, etc. can be reduced significantly carrying out the treatment we’ve outlined above. It’ll involve maintaining proper hygiene, reducing your consumption of sugary and acidic foods. It is also highly recommended that you see a dentist when you notice signs of white spots on your teeth. While it may attract costs, you’ll get better results than resorting to treatment at home.