WHITE SPOTS: CAUSES AND TREATMENTS
Everybody wants to have white teeth and a radiant smile! However, you may have noticed white spots on someone else’s teeth when they smile, or you may have you found white spots on your own teeth. What causes these white spots? Is it possible to get rid of them?
What causes white spots on teeth?
- Fluorosis. When children are young and consume too much fluoride, their teeth—developing below the gums—can sometimes form white spots. Flourosis does not damage the tooth structure, but it can be aesthetically bothersome. Fortunately, flourosis is easy to prevent. Use toothpaste sparingly on your child’s toothbrush, at least until their adult teeth come in. For children two years of age or younger, a tiny smidgeon (just
slightly larger than a grain of rice) will be enough. Younger children should use no more than a dab about the size of a kernel of corn.
- Demineralization. This occurs when acids leach minerals from the tooth enamel, leaving white spots on the teeth. These white spots tend to stain and may turn darker over time. Demineralization is detrimental to the health of the tooth, but can be prevented by regularly brushing and flossing your teeth and by minimizing the amount of sugar consumed. And because it is imperative that plaque build-up be thoroughly removed from the teeth, regular visits to your dentist and dental hygienist are another great way to prevent demineralization.
- Enamel Hypoplasia. This occurs when the protective enamel surrounding the teeth is too thin, which leaves them susceptible to staining and tooth decay. There are several causes of enamel hypoplasia. A child who is born before tooth enamel has completely formed or whose mother smoked during pregnancy is at risk. Poor nutrition can also be a factor.
What can be done to treat white spots?
Prevention is always the best option! However, once white spots have formed on the teeth, there are several alternatives to take.
- Bleaching may give the teeth a more homogenous appearance. Store-bought bleaching kits are not as efficient as bleaching done in the dental office or using a take-home kit approved by a dentist.
- Microabrasion—the removal of a thin layer of tooth enamel—will provide a more consistent appearance to the tooth. Using whitening treatments in conjunction with microabrasion increases the effectiveness.
- Venneers, thin pieces of porcelain attached to the teeth, are an option that has very favorable results, especially when other treatments have failed.
If you are concerned about the appearance of your teeth, pay us a visit. Together we can find the treatment that works best for you so that you will feel confident showing off your pearly whites!
For all of your family, cosmetic or restorative dental needs, we invite you to contact Paris Family Dental. Call us today to schedule your appointment at (903) 732-0061! Visit us at 2333 Lamar Ave, Paris, TX 75460 to learn more about our team, our practice, and how we provide excellence in dentistry in our area.