White spots on teeth are common, unpleasant occurrences that aren’t often a cause for too much concern. While usually not a symptom of a major medical condition, several factors lead to them and various treatments one can use to minimize their appearance—or even avoid them in the future. Below, we’ve broken down the causes of white patches on teeth as well as a few easy steps you can take to rid yourself of them!
Why do white spots appear?
There isn’t one common denominator when it comes to white spots on teeth. However, a common cause is a condition called dental fluorosis. Dental fluorosis usually develops in childhood due to a child ingesting too much of the tooth-protecting mineral known as fluoride. While children need to have some amounts of fluoride to strengthen and protect teeth, consult with your dentist before adding too many fluoride-heavy rinses, toothpaste, or supplements to your child’s oral hygiene routine. Another factor in developing white spots can be generally poor oral hygiene. White spots can become particularly pronounced on teeth if someone is wearing braces and indulging in acidic or sugary foods.
How do I get rid of them?
There are a few solutions to minimizing the appearance of white spots on your teeth. Your dentist will be able to help you figure out a plan that’s best for your spots in particular, as finding the cause is instrumental in determining your treatment. Sometimes the spot itself cannot be treated, but instead, the surrounding tooth can be brightened to blend the colors.
Enamel microabrasion is a procedure in which your dentist removes a thin layer of enamel from the outer layer of your tooth, creating a more uniform color by removing outer stains. This procedure can be done chemically or mechanically and is often coupled with bleaching to whiten teeth to the same shade.
Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide
Using a ratio of one part baking soda to two parts hydrogen peroxide, some patients choose to create an at-home whitening paste! Mix the ingredients and brush the paste gently onto your teeth, allowing it to sit for about a minute. Rinse thoroughly and avoid eating for an hour or so. This mixture can be harsh on enamel if used excessively, limiting at-home whitening to a handful of times a year.
A more permanent solution is dental veneers. Veneers are thin, protective coverings attached to the front of a tooth and can be custom designed to offer the exact shape, shade, and length you desire. They are a good way to permanently alter your smile if you’re looking for a long-term fix to white spots or larger cosmetic problems.
Although pesky, white spots are mostly a cosmetic issue that can be solved in various ways. It’s important to maintain a thorough oral healthcare routine to keep your mouth healthy, your teeth white, and avoid larger medical problems.
If you’d like to talk to your dentist about your white spots, give us a call at TruBlu Dentistry in Hegewisch, Chicago, or Burbank today!