How to get rid of white spots on teeth, according to dentists
Teeth discoloration usually refers to the stains left by food, coffee, and red wine. Over the years, these can lead to a yellowish tint that makes your smile less than bright. But sometimes the opposite problem occurs and shiny white spots form on your teeth, leaving a noticeable mottled effect.
While home teeth whitening kits work well in removing surface stains caused by food, it can be a bit trickier to figure out how to get rid of white spots on teeth. This is because they are not caused by stains but by structural changes in the enamel of your teeth, explains the general and cosmetic dentist. Dr Courtney Hain, DDS. And this can happen for various reasons.
One possible cause is fluorosis, which Hain said could have happened during childhood if your teeth were overexposed to fluoride. If you have had the same white spots from childhood, this is probably what is happening. Discoloration can also be due to hypoplasia, a problem that sometimes occurs with the formation of tooth enamel – this can happen for a variety of reasons, including trauma to the tooth. Other causes of white spots, according to the dentist Dr Mariya Malin, DDS, understand hereditary factors, vitamin deficiencies, and discoloration after braces.
While you might not like how white spots look, they’re not really bad or a sign of poor oral hygiene. âAs long as there is no loss of function and there are no other underlying health issues, having white spots on your teeth is okay,â says Malin. “However, many people believe that having the spots inhibits their appearance and go for one of the many ways to remove or cover them.” That said, if your white spots are new, they can be an early sign of cavities, that is, demineralization. âIt happens when bacteria, usually in plaque form, are not properly removed and releases minerals from the enamel structureHain says. In this scenario, you’ll want to treat the problem before a real decay forms and affects your overall oral health.
That’s all to say, if you want to get rid of your white spots, you will have to start by figuring out what is causing them. Once you’ve got that sorted out, read on for expert advice on how to get rid of white spots on teeth.
1. Visit the dentist
American Dental Association recommends regular dental check-ups. Scheduling annual cleanings and x-rays will help make sure you don’t have cavities or any other dental health issues that could be causing white spots.
âYour dental hygienist can also clean your teeth to remove plaque or applying fluoride to help strengthen your enamelcosmetic dentist Dr Alexie Aguil, DDS Bustle said. âYour dentist can also recommend a sealant to help protect your teeth. While you’re at it, you can ask questions about in-office procedures that whiten teeth (more details below). But as long as your pearly whites are healthy, you can decide to forget about those white spots.
2. Use fluoride toothpaste
Are these the least invasive ways to get rid of white spots? Brush and floss your teeth more regularly with fluoride toothpaste. If the white spots are caused by impending decay, fluoride toothpaste can help strengthen your teeth by filling of the tooth structure and remineralization of the area, says Hain, which in turn helps hide the stains. While there are many over-the-counter fluoride toothpastes, you can get an extra potent variety from your dentist.
3. Brush gently
When treating white spots, Aguil recommends brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush. âBrush with just a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and avoid swallowing it,â he says. By not using too much (or by not swallowing), you will help prevent unnecessary fluoride consumption, which is a common culprit of white spots on the teeth.
4. Cut down on acidic foods
According to Aguil, white spots can also be caused by lifestyle habits that strip the outer layer of your enamel. His advice? Try to take a break from acidic foods and drinks. Without all that wear and tear on your enamel due to acids in your diet, you may notice that the white spots get better.
5. Try a teeth whitening kit
If you’ve had these white spots literally all of your life and therefore know they aren’t a sign of cavities, an at-home teeth whitening kit might be your best bet. “This will usually solve the problem with the benefit of whitening the teeth as well,” explains Dr Thomas McCarthy, DDS, a dentist based in Waterbury, Connecticut. âWhitening the entire tooth would reduce the appearance of white spots and solve the problem without any advanced procedures, such as dental veneers. “
Just be aware that this can sometimes make the problem worse: while whitening, or teeth whitening, can make your enamel color more even, Malin says there’s no guarantee – plus, Bleach can make white spots whiter, making them stand out even more.
6. Learn about dental microabrasion
For stains that are on the surface of the tooth, your dentist may choose to dental microabrasion to remove them gently using a pressurized jet of abrasive particles, according to a cosmetic dentist Dr Gary Michels, DDS. âIt may take a few minutes, but it’s usually painless,â he told Bustle. “They’ll remove just enough of the white spot to make it go away.”
7. See if resin infiltration can help
If bleaching doesn’t work, your dentist may also use a technique called resin infiltration. It is a minimally invasive (no injection or piercing) restorative treatment that Malin says produces good results by essentially filling in the white spots.
While white spots can be annoying and you might want them to go away, it’s best to keep your hopes under control. âThe success of these options depends on the size and depth of the tooth defect,â Hain explains. Whether you try brushing, bleaching, or in-office treatments, your white spots can be here to stay – and that’s okay.
Bardellini E, Amadori F, Pasini S, Majorana A. Dental anomalies in permanent teeth after trauma in primary dentition. J Clin Pediatrician Dent. 2017; 41 (1): 5-9. doi: 10.17796 / 1053-4628-41.1.5. PMID: 28052204.
Botelho, J., Machado, V., ProenÃ§a, L., Delgado, AS, & Mendes, JJ (2020). Vitamin D deficiency and oral health: a comprehensive review. Nutrients, 12(5), 1471. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12051471
Honorio, HM (2010). Effect of the acid challenge preceded by food consumption on enamel erosion. European Journal of Dentistry. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2948745/
Manoharan, V., Arun Kumar, S., Arumugam, SB, Anand, V., Krishnamoorthy, S. and Methippara, JJ (2019). Is resin infiltration a microinvasive approach to white lesions of calcified dental structures? : A Systemic Review. International Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry, 12(1), 53-58. https://doi.org/10.5005/jp-journals-10005-1579
Medjedovic, E. (2015). Impact of fluoride on the quality of dental health. Journal of the Academy of Medical Sciences of Bosnia and Herzegovina. doi: 10.5455 / msm.2015.27.395-398
MuÃ±oz MA, Arana-Gordillo LA, Gomes GM, Gomes OM, Bombarda NH, Reis A, Loguercio AD. Alternative aesthetic management of fluorosis and hypoplastic spots: mixing effect obtained with resin infiltration techniques. J Esthet Restaurateur Dent. 2013 Feb; 25 (1): 32-9. doi: 10.1111 / j.1708-8240.2012.00527.x. Published online July 10, 2012. PMID: 23374407.
Sivapriya, E. (2017). Sodium fluoride remineralization capacity on enamel, dentin, and dentin-enamel junction microhardness: an in vitro study. Journal of Conservative Dentistry. doi: 10.4103 / JCD.JCD_353_16
Srivasta, K. (2013). Risk factors and management of white spot lesions in orthodontics. Journal of Orthodontic Science. doi: 10.4103 / 2278-0203.115081
Sundfeld, RH, Sundfeld-Neto, D., Machado, LS, Franco, LM, Fagundes, TC and Briso, AL (2014). Microabrasion in tooth enamel discoloration defects: three cases with long-term follow-up. Applied oral science journal: revista FOB, 22(4), 347-354. https://doi.org/10.1590/1678-775720130672
Todorova VI, Filipov IA, Khaliq AF, Verma P. Aesthetic improvement of fluorosis lesions of whiteheads with resin infiltration. Folia Med (Plovdiv). 2020 Mar 31; 62 (1): 208-213. doi: 10.3897 / folmed.62.e47731. PMID: 32337918.
Wang, X., Willing, MC, Marazita, ML, Wendell, S., Warren, JJ, Broffitt, B., Smith, B., Busch, T., Lidral, AC and Levy, SM (2012). Genetic and Environmental Factors Associated with Dental Caries in Children: The Iowa Fluoride Study. Caries research, 46(3), 177-184. https://doi.org/10.1159/000337282
Dr Courtney Hain, DDS, generalist and aesthetic dentist
Dr Mariya Malin, DDS, Dentiste
Dr Alexie Aguil, DDS, Dentiste
Dr Thomas McCarthy, DDS, Dentiste
Dr Gary Michels, DDScosmetic dentist