White Spots on Teeth: Causes, Reasons, Treatments
White spots on teeth are not only unsightly, but they could be the result of an underlying issue, such as a nutrient deficiency or, where young children are concerned, a condition known as fluorosis. There are ways that you can get rid of these spots though and in this guide we’ll show you how, while also discussing why these spots appear in the first place and what you can do to prevent them from doing so.
What Causes White Spots on Teeth?
There are a number of causes of white spots on teeth, both in adults and in children. The exact cause can be identified by a dentist, but we have listed some of the common causes below:
The mineral fluoride has gotten a pretty bad rep in recent years, and is at the heart of many “the government are evil” conspiracy theories. But it’s essential for maintaining optimal teeth health, which is why it’s added to water and to toothpastes. Too much fluoride can cause harm though and if an excessive amount is consumed while teeth are being formed then it can lead to a condition known as fluorosis.
This is common in children, which is why it’s important to make sure they use only a small amount of toothpaste when they are brushing their teeth.
Smoking during pregnancy can cause a number of potentially serious issues for unborn children, ranging from an increased risk of stillbirth and childhood diseases, to enamel hypoplasia, a condition that can cause white spots on teeth as well as other enamel issues.
A lack of calcium and other key minerals can also lead to enamel hypoplasia, which, as discussed above, can cause white spots on teeth. These minerals are essential for building healthy teeth and bones and if you’re not consuming enough or absorbing enough then white spots and other issues can present themselves.
Whit spots teeth can also present during celiac disease, mainly because a celiac sufferer’s body can’t properly absorb all of the nutrients they consume, but also because their diet may deprive them of certain nutrients.
One of the stranger causes of white spots on teeth is a high fever as a child. This can deplete the body’s supply of key minerals, which in turn can impact on the formation of the tooth’s enamel.
Some medications can also cause white spots on teeth. Medications, such as antibiotics, are also known to cause discoloration. Read more about key causes of teeth staining here and about things that can damage your teeth here.
How to Get Rid of White Spots on Teeth
The quickest way to get rid of white spots on teeth is to use a gentle, effective, at-home whitening kit like Snow. These teeth whitening kits do not cause sensitivity, they do not irritate your gums or lips, and they can be used several times without issue, bringing those pearly whites back whenever they become stained.
If you have white spots on your teeth then we would still advise looking into the cause of them (discussed in more detail above) as there could be an underlying issue. We would also not recommend teeth whitening services for children. If they have white spots on their teeth then contact your dentist and ask them to look into it—there’s no need to resort to whitening kits for kids.
Snow can also help to remove countless other discoloration issues, including stains that result from coffee, tea, wine, cigarettes and even berries (take a look at this review to see what customers are saying!). All of these things can change the color of your teeth and as they occur on the inner surface of the tooth, they cannot be cleaned with brushing or rinsing.
Other Ways to Get Rid of White Spots
As discussed above, bleaching is the best way for removing white spots on an adult’s teeth. It can help to restore some balance in the color of the tooth, as white spots are only visible when the rest of the tooth is off-white or yellow. But there are other ways, including micro abrasion, which works by removing a thin layer of enamel from the surface of the tooth, bringing out the whiteness underneath and helping to provide a similar color balance that would be achieved through bleaching.
Veneers can also help. These can be either porcelain or composite caps that are adhered to the surface of the tooth.
The problem with veneers is that they can be very expensive, costing anywhere up to $2,500 per tooth, and they are also prone to chipping, breaking, or slipping off. What’s more, for a veneer to fit properly the tooth underneath needs to be ground down, thus allowing for a more natural fit and ensuring the veneer can adhere better.
This is not an issue for damaged or otherwise unhealthy teeth, but it’s a questionable practice for healthy teeth as it essentially entails damaging a real tooth so that a fake one can be attached to it.
How to Prevent White Spots
If you’re expecting then there are a few precautions you can take to reduce the risk of your child developing white spots on their teeth, in addition to other dental issues. If you smoke, stop; if you’re taking any medications, consult your doctor and tell them about your concerns.
If you have a young child it’s important to monitor them when they are brushing their teeth. The “pea-sized” instruction is not there to save you money on toothpaste and to stop them making a mess of their face and your sink (although that is an added benefit) it’s there to reduce the amount of fluoride they are exposed to.
You should still provide them with a fluoride toothpaste as they need this mineral to strengthen their teeth, but too much can do harm. If you’re concerned, look for a toothpaste designed specifically for children.
If you’re the one with white spots then there’s a good chance they have resulted from medication or a mineral deficiency. In such cases, you just need to find out what you’re lacking and make sure you get enough of it in the future. Calcium is the main issue here, and if you’re not getting enough of this from dairy you can find it in seeds, beans, nuts, leafy greens and even supplements.