What Are Those White Spots On My Teeth?

THERE ARE A LOT of things that can leave stains on our teeth, and stains can come in many different colors. You could see yellow stains, brown stains, or even the temporary stain from eating brightly colored candy, but what about when the stain is white? Where do those white spots come from, and is there anything we can do about it?

White Spots From Fluorosis

Surface stains that affect the tooth enamel sometimes appear on a tooth that is otherwise healthy. One cause of this kind of stain is fluorosis. Fluorosis occurs when developing adult teeth are exposed to too much fluoride. It doesn’t damage the teeth, but it does unevenly bleach them, leaving white spots on them before they even grow in.

To avoid white spots from fluorosis, make sure to limit the amount of fluoride toothpaste you use when brushing your child’s teeth. A tiny smear (no bigger than a grain of rice) is sufficient for babies and toddlers, and a pea-sized dab is the most you should use for a young child. When they begin brushing their own teeth, encourage them to continue going easy on the toothpaste.

The Effects Of Demineralization

A more harmful cause of white spots is demineralization. Demineralization is the gradual leaching of crucial minerals like calcium from the tooth enamel. Plaque buildup and acid exposure over time lead to demineralization, and people with braces are particularly susceptible to it.

Preventing demineralization is all about good brushing and flossing habits, as well as regular dental visits. We all should be brushing for two minutes twice a day and flossing daily, and orthodontic patients should take extra care to clean away all the food residue and plaque around the brackets to avoid white spots when the braces come off.

Enamel Hypoplasia

For an unlucky minority, white spots don’t come from demineralization or fluorosis, but from enamel hypoplasia, a condition that leaves the teeth with thinner enamel than usual and therefore more vulnerable to stains and decay. Causes of enamel hypoplasia in a child’s teeth include the mother smoking while pregnant, malnutrition, and premature birth.

Treating White Spots

It’s always better to prevent white spots from developing to begin with, but if they do appear, there are a few ways to treat them, such as microabrasion and bleaching. With microabrasion, a thin layer of enamel is scraped away to restore the tooth’s uniform appearance. Whitening treatments can improve the results of microabrasion even more, or it can be its own solution, as with bleaching. If you choose the bleaching route, we recommend professional whitening, whether in the dentist’s office or using a dentist-approved home whitening kit, for the best possible results.

Not all stains can be removed with these methods, and in these cases, veneers are an excellent option. The way these work is that the dentist attaches thin pieces of porcelain to the teeth, for a natural, uniform, white appearance.

Do You Have White Spots?

If white spots on your teeth have been bothering you and making you less confident in your smile, come see us so that we can determine the best solution. We want all our patients to be able to share their smiles freely!

Keep up that brushing and flossing, and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Top image by Flickr user Matteo Martinello used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
Posted in Blog, Dental Posts, General Dental, Pediatric
New Patient Offer
Contact Us

    NAME:

    EMAIL:

    PHONE:

    MESSAGE:

    View our privacy policy

    Testimonials

    Harry B.

    Dr. Behner and his staff and just the best. They are worth my families 1-hour drive!

    —Harry B.

    Greg M.

    Dr. Behner runs a fantastic and very professional practice. His Dental Hygienist did a wonderful and pain-free cleaning. Always an excellent experience!

    —Greg M.

    Pat S.

    Dr's Behner and Pence provide an outstanding service and I am glad they are my dentist. Their staff is awesome also.

    —Pat S.

    Jeanie M.

    I know I need some extra pats and such to get me ready, and they always have been there to smile and reassure me! It’s extremely embarrassing to have so much fear but they are there not judging by comforting me!

    —Jeanie M.

    Leslee D.

    I had put off having dental work because of anxiety. I’m so glad to have been referred to Dr. Behner many years ago. Being able to have IV sedation enabled me to get the work done that was needed. Dr. Behner and his staff are so understanding. My bite is better due to crowns and I’m no longer in pain. Thank you, Dr. Behner. I no longer “dread” the dentist.

    —Leslee D.

    Cindy M.

    My experince with Dr. Behner and staff seriously changed my life. I’m 52, and feared the dentist since childhood, after terrible visits. Over 5 years ago, I found Dr. Behner after doing an internet search for sedation dentistry. At my first visit, even before my sedation appt., I knew I had found my dentist for life. The atmosphere, the staff, and the dentist, all give a sense of comfort and peace. I’ve never once been afraid again, and actually look forward to my appointments!

    —Cindy M.

    Judy S.

    The entire staff is so kind and considerate that over the years my anxiety has diminished. They are my "dental family". Just had an extraction and cannot imagine a better dentist!

    —Judy S.

    DENTAL CARE TODAY PC -
    E. DALE BEHNER DDS

    If you are searching for an Indianapolis dentist to provide cosmetic dentistry, sedation dentistry, or dental implants, Dr. E. Dale Behner is here for you! Call today to schedule an appointment if you are in the area, including Fishers and Carmel. Dental Care Today PC - E. Dale Behner DDS
    9744 Lantern Rd
    Fishers, IN 46037
    Call: 317-842-2337317-842-2337 DrBehner@dentalcaretoday.com
    Write a Review
    Review Us on Google Review Us on Facebook Review Us on Angies List
    Connect With Us
    Awards
    Best Dentists in Indianapolis
    Top 10 dentists in Fishers, IN
    Dr. Elton D. Behner, DDS has been awarded as a top Dentistry practice with some of Fishers's best Dentists.
    Verified by Opencare.com
    NagiosCheckValue - Do not remove please