White spots that you might sometimes see on your teeth can be due to a number of reasons.

Although white teeth are what everyone wants and are often a sign of excellent dental health, some individuals want to keep their smiles as white as possible.

This includes brushing your teeth twice a day, having regular dental cleanings, and using teeth-whitening techniques at home.

However, in some cases, discolorations like white spots or blotches form on your teeth.

This shade of white is often different from the pearl white teeth and you may also find it bothersome.

Moreover, in some cases, they can also be a sign of decay, therefore, it is important to identify the causes of white spots.

Keep on reading to learn more about the causes of white spots on teeth and what you can do to get rid of them.

Causes of White Spots on Teeth

In most cases, white spots on your teeth develop because of more than one reason.

However, your dentist can help find the specific cause, and determine the best way to treat them.

Common causes of white spots on teeth are:

Diet

If your diet consists of too many acidic foods that they can cause white spots to develop on your teeth.

This is because foods high in acidity eat away the tooth enamel and this layer are there to protect your teeth from damage.

Moreover, if your diet is high in sugar, it can also lead to the formation of acidic plaque which can lead to enamel erosion.

Thus, acidic foods like sodas and certain fruits like lemons, oranges, and grapefruit can also cause it.

On the other hand, acid reflux is another trigger that produces acid in your stomach, throat, and mouth.

As your enamel erodes, you may also experience other symptoms like sensitivity to foods and drinks.

Fluorosis

Fluoride helps to strengthen your teeth and prevents decay, however, too much of it can have an opposite effect causing decay and discoloration.

white spots on teeth causes

This can also happen if you or your child consume too many fluorinated beverages or swallow fluoride toothpaste.

Fluorosis can also cause pitted enamel, making it harder to brush and clean your teeth.

Enamel Hypoplasia

This refers to having less enamel than normal and can result from nutritional deficiencies that cause a mineral loss in the tooth.

The culprits of this condition are celiac disease where your body has difficulty absorbing nutrients.

This happens because of a weak immune system.

Moreover, taking antibiotics to treat a fever can also lead to interference with nutrient absorption.

Smoking while pregnant may also cause this condition in children. Other symptoms of enamel hypoplasia are having grooves or lines in the teeth and tooth sensitivity.

Other Causes of White Spots

Different other causes of white spots on teeth are:

Sleeping with your Mouth Open

You may notice white spots on your teeth when you wake up and they may go away a few hours later.

This is often due to sleeping with your mouth open all night.

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Such white spots can be due to dehydration of the enamel surface of your teeth and once saliva hits the teeth, they can rehydrate and the white spots will disappear.

Being sick with a cold can also make you sleep with your mouth open.

Plaque Accumulation

Due to the accumulation of bacterial plaque on your teeth, you may also observe white spots.

This is the result of poor dental hygiene like not brushing your teeth or flossing them on regular basis.

It can also occur as a side effect of wearing braces.

Moreover, these spots may also appear after removing braces and can be due to the buildup of plaque underneath or around the actual location of brackets.

Additionally, insufficient oral hygiene or an inability to remove the plaque thoroughly between the brackets causes demineralization of the tooth.

As a result, your tooth may appear rough or chipped.

Learn more about 8 Foods That Whiten The Tooth Enamel here.

Treatment for White Spots on Teeth

There are a number of possible treatments for white spots on teeth.

However, whether suitable or not, depends on the underlying causes of the white spots and your teeth’ condition.

Teeth Whitening or Bleaching

Teeth whitening or bleaching can help reduce the appearance of white spots and other stains on your teeth.

There are a number of whitening products like strips or paste, OTC, over-the-counter products you can apply.

However, you can also visit your dentist for professional whitening treatment like Zoom Teeth Whitening.

It is important to note that this treatment uses stronger bleaching solutions than those available OTC, which can make them work better.

Dental Veneer

Veneers are thin protective coverings that attach themself to the front teeth and can also conceal white spots and other blemishes effectively.

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Moreover, these are only available from a dentist and must be professionally fitted which makes them costly.

Composite Resin

If you have a condition like enamel hypoplasia, your dentist may apply the composite resin in filling the cavities and to bond the outer layer of the teeth.

This may not, however, be suitable if you have a large number of white spots on your teeth.

Topical Fluoride

Your dentist may also choose to apply topical fluoride on the teeth if you have enamel hypoplasia.

This can encourage the development of enamel on the teeth and prevent tooth decay.

Enamel Microabrasion

In some cases, you may have the produce of enamel microabrasion.

During this procedure, your dentist will remove a small amount of enamel from the teeth to reduce the appearance of the white spots.

This professional treatment is typically followed by teeth bleaching which makes your teeth appear uniform in color.

Preventive Tips

Practicing good oral and dental hygiene can help to prevent white spots on teeth as well as other stains, tooth decay, gum diseases, or other dental problems.

According to the American Dental Association, ADA, if you brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss between them once daily, it helps to avoid a number of dental problems.

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Moreover, white spots can also develop before your child reaches the age of 10, however, they may vary.

Therefore, it is important to encourage your children to practice good dental and oral hygiene and other preventive habits.

This can help to ensure their teeth stay healthy and strong.

Preventive Tips for Children to minimize White Spots

The following tips can help prevent white spots from developing on your child’s teeth:

Toothpaste

If your child is under 3 years of age, you should make sure that they are not using more than a smaller smear of toothpaste or the size of a grain of rice on their toothbrush.

However, if they are older than 3 years of age, make sure that they are not using more than a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.

On the other hand, young children often fail to spit out toothpaste, therefore, using a small amount can help reduce their overall fluoride exposure.

It is, therefore, important to supervise your children to make sure they are using the right amount of toothpaste and not swallowing it.

Testing Well Water

You should get having your water tested for fluoride levels on a yearly basis if you have private wells.

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This can help your children especially, as the fluoride levels can change in different places.

Fluoride-Free Water

If your baby is feeding on infant formula then you should use fluoride-free water to make formula milk to prevent excess buildup of fluoride on their teeth.

Fluoride Supplements According to ADA, dietary fluoride supplements for children between the age of 6 months and 16 years of age have a high risk of developing tooth decay.

These supplements should be used only if your doctor or dentist prescribes them.

Other Preventive Tips for Children

Some of the other preventive tips to minimize the appearance of white spots on your child’s teeth are as follows:

Reduce Sugaray and Acidic Foods and Drinks

If your child consumes too much acidic and sugary foods and drinks, then they are more likely to develop tooth decay.

The following foods and drinks are to be aware of:

  • citrus juices and fruits like grapefruit, lemons, and oranges
  • hard candies and other sugary sweets
  •  sodas and other drinks high in sugar

Eating these foods occasionally may be less harmful, while eating too much can lead to damage and blemishes, including white spots on teeth.

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However, drinking water after consuming these foods can help to wash them off your child’s teeth and reduce the chances of damage.

Vising a dentist

If you are concerned about your child’s dental health, then you should visit a pediatric dentist.

Although white spots are less desirable, they are often not a cause of concern. However, if you have enamel hypoplasia may be at an increased risk of dental damage and decay.

If you notice white spots on your child’s teeth and are changing in size and number, then you should visit a dentist.

They can evaluate the symptoms and conditions of their teeth and will recommend the right treatment plan if needed.

Summing It

Most often, white spots on teeth are not a cause of concern, however, they can sometimes be a sign of an underlying medical condition.

You can treat them with the help of the above treatment options, while your dentist may also recommend professional whitening or the application of veneers to make them less apparent.