There’s nothing more beautiful than a wide, healthy smile. But if you have experienced stained teeth, you might not be quick to flash those pearly whites. A number of things can cause stains on the tooth teeth, and these stains can come in various colors. Brown and yellow stains are the most common, and you’ve probably noticed that temporary staining can be the result of brightly colored candy or even red wine. Believe it or not, some tooth stains are white. But what causes white spots on teeth? Continue reading to find out!
Common Causes of White Stains on the Teeth
Although they can make you self-conscious, white spots are often not harmful to your teeth. They sometimes act as an early sign of tooth decay, so it’s important to visit your dentist if you notice new white spots on your teeth.
Some of the causes of white spots on teeth might include vitamin deficiency, infections and illnesses, trauma on teeth, and poor dental hygiene. Other reasons might be consuming many sugary or acidic foods and drinks, plaque, and dry mouth. The most common causes, though, are demineralization, fluorosis, and enamel hypoplasia.
Demineralization occurs when the teeth are gradually leached of calcium. Enough acid exposure –– through acidic foods and drinks like coffee or fruit –– or plaque buildup will eventually lead to some level of demineralization. Demineralization can be prevented with good oral hygiene habits.
Surface stains can sometimes appear on healthy teeth. Fluorosis is one of the main culprits and occurs during the development of permanent teeth when exposed to too much fluoride. Fluorosis will not damage the tooth but will cause esthetic problems like uneven bleaching and white spots. To avoid fluorosis, restrict the amount of fluoride toothpaste for your family—a grain-of-rice amount for kids under two and a pea-sized dab for school-aged kids.
Lastly, an unlucky minority of the population has white spots because of enamel hypoplasia, which creates thinner tooth enamel than usual. The weaker enamel puts the teeth in danger of tooth decay and stains.
How to Prevent White Spots on Teeth
While white spots on the teeth are harmless, many people would prefer not dealing with them altogether. There are ways to help prevent white spots on teeth, all of which involve practicing good oral hygiene. The most basic practices –– like brushing your teeth twice per day, flossing daily, and visiting your general dentist regularly –– is the best way to protect your smile for years to come.
Here are a few more tips for preventing white spots on teeth:
- Prioritize using water that is fluoride-free, if possible.
- Help out your children with tooth brushing to ensure they use the right amounts of toothpaste –– and make sure they don’t swallow any toothpaste while brushing.
- Enjoying sugary and acidic foods and drinks such as citric fruits and juices, candy, soda, and other soft drinks is fine every now and then. But try to reduce how many of these foods and drinks you have on a daily basis.
- Smoking and tobacco use is a major cause of tooth stains. We know that quitting smoking is easier said than done, but doing so will greatly improve your overall health and reduce your risk for a variety of dental health risks as well.
Whenever you’re concerned about a tooth stain, reaching out to your dentist is the best course of action. Your dentist will examine your teeth and advise you on the best course of action for treatment.
Here at Endodontic Specialists of Colorado, we believe every patient deserves a healthy, beautiful smile for life. That’s why our team of doctors specializes in restoring smiles and relieving pain. Contact us today to schedule an evaluation and learn how we can restore your smile!