White spot lesions on teeth are unsightly. No matter how much you try to convince yourself, the reality won’t change. Whether it’s due to dental fluorosis, poor dental hygiene, enamel hypoplasia, or bad eating habits, if not treated, they can stay there for a long time.
How to get rid of white spot lesions on teeth? Well, as much as it concerns you, there is nothing to be worried about. They may look as if they will never leave your teeth, but several dental procedures assist in eliminating them.
In this article, we will shed light on why these white spot lesions appear on your teeth and their cures and preventive measures.
White Spot Lesions Explained
White spot lesions are ‘opacities’ due to ‘demineralization of dental enamel’ resulting in aesthetics problems. Apart from that, some other reasons, like poor dental hygiene and orthodontic treatments, may also increase the likelihood of white spot lesions on teeth.
What Causes White Spots on Your Teeth?
As we previously said, there is no one reason for white spot formation on teeth. Below we have listed some of the most common reasons that promote white spot lesions development on teeth.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Poor oral hygiene is the most common reason for white spot occurrence. When you don’t clean your teeth properly, bacteria begin building up in your mouth. Hence, white spots appear on your teeth due to mineral loss. Also, this may eventually lead to tooth decay.
When kids below 8 consume too much fluoride through drinking water and toothpaste, spots start to develop on their teeth. This condition is commonly known as dental fluorosis. Due to such dental conditions, experts advise keeping fluoride exposure limited for children below the age of 8. Severe cases will lead to the development of Pitts and brown stains on teeth.
Enamel hypoplasia is another possible cause of white spots on teeth. In this condition, the tooth enamel doesn't form properly in the easy development stages due to either genetics or prenatal vitamin deficiency. As a result, you see white spots on your teeth. In fact, in some cases, it increases the risk of tooth decay.
As surprising as it sounds, dental braces can cause white spots on your teeth. Since they make it difficult to clean your teeth properly, bacteria get stuck between the wires on your teeth and deplete calcium and other minerals, leading to discoloration. Also, it can also occur when you have too many sugary drinks while on your braces.
A dry mouth can be the underlying cause of some health implications, and white spot formation on teeth is one of them. When your mouth does not produce saliva sufficiently, plaque accumulates, eventually causing pesky white spots.
These were the top reasons for white spot lesions on teeth. While there could be more, the ones we have stated are widespread.
How to get rid of White Spot Lesions on Teeth?
Thanks to advanced dental treatments, getting rid of white spots is easier than ever. Several procedures are there to treat white spots. However, they must be considered depending on the severity of the issue. Below are some effective treatments for white spots on teeth.
Enamel micro-abrasion is a minimally invasive treatment to eliminate white spots from your teeth. The procedure is characterized by removing a small amount of enamel using hydrochloric acid and pumice to remove spots and stains from your teeth. The treatment can be done in different sessions to evaluate the results and decide whether to move forward with the procedure or not. Generally, it takes around 4 sessions to get the finest results.
Bleaching or Whitening
Teeth whitening and bleaching is another least invasive procedure to eliminate white spots on teeth. You can either get it done professionally by a dentist or do it at home using over-the-counter teeth whiteners. Stripes and pastes are common teeth whiteners normally used for this procedure. On the other hand, dentists typically use harsh bleaching solutions to remove the spots and give you the best results in the least possible time.
Another great benefit of whitening or bleaching is that it removes plaque buildup and cleans hard-to-reach areas.
Resin infiltration is a newer technique that helps reduce white spots on teeth. The procedure involves removing a skinny layer of dental enamel and applying tooth-colored resin paste on the white spots. The paste then hardens using a special light. Once it dries, it will vanish all the white spots.
Veneer or Crowns
Your dentist may offer you to get veneers or crowns to cover white spots on your teeth. While it is not the best-suggested method, it is practical and can help with other dental conditions as well, like chipped or crooked teeth or tooth gaps. Also, they can be costly if you don’t have medical insurance.
The dentist often suggests that patients with enamel hypoplasia get the composite resin to bond the enamel and fill in the cavities. However, this method won’t work on people with many white spots.
Another way to treat white spot lesions is to get topical fluoride applied to your teeth. Those with enamel hypoplasia are typically recommended by the dentist to get topical fluoride applied as it promotes enamel development and prevents cavities and tooth decay.
So these were some of the in-office treatments you get for white spot removal. However, if you are skeptical about them, you can check out a host of home remedies/solutions that you can try to treat this condition.
Home Remedies - How to get rid of White Spot Lesions on Teeth?
Following are our tried and tested home remedies to get rid of white spot lesions on teeth. Now, let’s check them out one-by-one.
Oil pulling is an old method to treat various dental conditions. Specifically, coconut oil is used in this remedy as it has lauric acid, which helps with the elimination of white spots and plaque from the teeth. Moreover, coconut oil is rich in antifungal and antibacterial properties.
Take two tablespoons of coconut oil and gargle it for at least 10 minutes. Then spit it out and rinse your mouth with lukewarm water.
Lemon Juice and Salt
Lemon has citric acid that helps remove white spots on teeth. It is indeed one of the quickest remedies for white spot removal. All you have to do is:
Squeeze out the lemon juice and add a pinch of salt to it. Mix it and rub it onto your teeth, especially on areas with white spots. After 2 3 minutes of rubbing, rinse your mouth. Doing so will remove white spots and give you healthy gums and fresher breath.
Use Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide does amazingly well on teeth due to its bleaching properties. You can call it a natural bleaching agent. It helps you give whiter teeth free from spots and unsightly marks.
However, to use it, you must first make a mixture. Take some hydrogen peroxide and mix it with some baking powder. Now, grab your toothbrush, dampen it, dip it into the mixture and scrub your teeth for 2 to 3 minutes. Once done, rinse your mouth with clean water and if needed, repeat the procedure.
Vinegar and Baking Soda
Vinegar has acidic properties and baking soda has PH-neutralizing properties. When they both are combined, a fantastic mixture is formed for white spot removal. Here is how to make that mixture:
Take some amount of baking soda and vinegar, and combine them to form a paste. Now dip your toothbrush into the mixture and scrub your teeth for 2 to 3 minutes. Rinse your mouth with clean water. Repeat this process once a week to eliminate white spots.
Turmeric has chemical properties that help remove stains from teeth. Therefore, it is widely used to eliminate white spots from teeth. Just take some turmeric powder and mix it with salt and lemon juice. Now dip your toothbrush into the mixture and scrub your teeth. You can also use your hands to scrub your teeth. Lastly, rinse your mouth with clean water. You will see the results in a few goes.
While there are some other home remedies as well, these are the most useful ones. They have zero side effects and have proven to be effective for most dental conditions.
‘An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure'. It is better to use home remedies to avoid dental procedures cost, but it’s best to avoid dental conditions in the first place. If you are willing to know how you could prevent dental conditions or white spot lesions, specifically, here is the guide.
Use Fluoride Free Water
While fluoride is good for teeth, it can have the opposite effect on children aged 8 or younger. Thereby it is suggested that you avoid fluoride for children and use fluoride-free toothpaste and water to avoid its buildup on teeth.
Using the Correct Toothpaste
To prevent tooth conditions, you and your children must use the right toothpaste in the right quantities. For children aged 3 or younger, ensure that they don’t use more than a smear amount of toothpaste. Children who or 3 + are recommended to use pea-sized amounts of toothpaste.
Besides that, make sure that your children properly rinse their mouths after brushing their teeth to reduce fluoride exposure.
Brush Twice a Day
For the best oral hygiene, dentists recommend brushing your teeth twice a day, Usually first thing in the morning and after the last meal of the day. Also, using mouthwash after brushing and flossing twice a week will be a plus point.
It’s important to keep a check on what you are consuming on a regular basis. Get your water tested for fluoride content on a yearly basis. Having larger quantities of fluoride is not right for your children, so do it the first thing, especially when you shift to a new place.
The ADA suggests that children aged 6 months and 16 should be given dietary fluoride supplements in areas with no fluoridated water. This will reduce the risk of developing tooth decay in children. That said, these supplements should only be considered on a doctor's or dentist’s recommendation.
Reduce Sugary and Acidic Foods Intake
Another reason for white spot lesions on teeth is excessive consumption of sugary and acidic foods. Not just they cause white spots to appear but they damage dental enamel, causing tooth decay, eventually.
Foods and drinks that cause tooth decay and white spots include:
- Citrus fruits - oranges, lemons, and grapefruits
- Sweets and hard candies
- Sodas and energy drinks high in sugar
Consuming such foods occasionally won’t harm anything. However, too much intake will lead to blemishes, damage, and white spots.
It is suggested that you rinse your mouth after consuming these foods and use a straw for drinking sodas.
Bi-annual Dental Checkups
There is no rule of going to a dentist only when you have a problem, routine check-ups are important. If a hidden dental problem is not surfacing or causing you any symptoms, it will be spotted and treated during the checkup to prevent it from spreading or causing further damage.
White spot lesions are one of the prevailing dental conditions in the United States. If the problem is not addressed on time, it will increase the chances of developing cavities and other dental conditions. Not taking appropriate care of your teeth will cause demineralization of the enamel and eventually cause bacteria buildup. Therefore, it is advised to appear for your routine checkups and follow dental care guidelines by your dentist.