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Starting to notice irregular white opaque patches on the surface of your teeth Is nothing to ignore. Not only are these white spots aesthetically troublesome, but they could be a cause for concern. White spots on the surface of your teeth are usually the result of a loss of minerals in your tooth’s enamel layer.
It is not uncommon for patients to notice these white spots on the surface of their teeth, especially after completing an at-home teeth whitening treatment. Read on to learn why these white spots may appear on your teeth, and what you can do to prevent them from returning.
White Stains After Whitening Treatments
Noticing white spots on the surface of your teeth after a whitening treatment is caused by hypo-calcification. Teeth whitening does not cause white spots on your teeth; however, tooth whitening treatments can make already present spots more visible. Hypo-calcification is the loss of calcium in the tooth enamel that leads to discoloration. These spots are caused by exposure to too much fluoride, a diet high in sugar or acid, or heavy plaque buildup. White spots may also be more visible after orthodontic bands, and brackets are removed. Eliminating these spots can be tricky as some teeth whitening procedures can cause the hypo-calcified areas to appear much brighter than the rest of the tooth.
Other Common Causes of White Spots
Poor Oral Hygiene
Highly acidic environments are ideal for cavity-causing bacteria to grow. Inadequate brushing and flossing techniques enable harmful bacteria to flourish and thrive in your mouth. Braces, dental devices, and other oral appliances can all make it more challenging to achieve a thorough clean during your oral hygiene efforts. It’s critical to be diligent about brushing, particularly while wearing braces or going through orthodontic treatment. Poor oral hygiene can enable bacteria to strip away essential minerals from your teeth that lead to white spots. If left untreated, white spots can progress to full cavities.
Dental fluorosis can happen if your teeth are exposed to too much fluoride. Those most likely to suffer from fluorosis are young children as their smaller bodies have a lower tolerance for high levels of fluoride. It is essential to supervise children while they brush their teeth as toothpaste that contains fluoride can be harmful in excessive amounts. Utilizing fluoride in proper amounts is necessary for the overall health of the teeth; however, you should always check first with your child’s dentist if you have any concerns about whether your child is showing any warning signs of excessive fluoride consumption.
Illness or Medications
Taking certain medications has been directly linked to the development of white spots on tooth enamel. Certain antibiotics are not approved for use in children due to this. Always take medications as prescribed by your doctor and never share prescriptions with others. If you begin to notice white spots developing on the surface of your teeth due to certain medications, talk with your dentist about the best ways to treat them.
Your genetics can play a crucial role in whether you are likely to develop white spots on your teeth. If white lesions do run in your family, you should take extra precautions to avoid them and discuss your family history with your dentist.
Preventing Future Stains on Your Teeth
Keeping your teeth bright, white, and healthy requires regular maintenance. Surface stains can return or be very stubborn to treat at home. Your dentist can assist in recommending future whitening treatments that are right for your smile and advice on how to prevent them in the first place. Daily oral hygiene also goes a long way in preventing teeth stains. A whitening toothpaste, brushing twice a day and flossing can all help to remove surface stains and make sure your teeth stay healthy and bright.
If you have white spots on your teeth, contact Hoffman Dental Care for a consultation appointment. We can help you determine the cause of your white spots and help develop a treatment plan for restoring your smile’s look and function.