Do you have white spots on your teeth? The term is called “hypomineraliztion” and in the dental world, it refers to the effect of too much exposure to fluoride. Depending on when you may have been exposed to high levels of fluoride, you may end up with patches of discoloration on the teeth– better known as those pesky white spots on your teeth. Unfortunately, these white spots can easily progress into permanently stained teeth because the enamel has become subject to decay.
These white spots on your teeth can appear as an unsightly view not only because they spoil your smile, but because they can ruin your confidence. Sometimes the white spots on your teeth are hardly visible, but if you look closely you can see that they are in fact whiter than the rest of your tooth. Having hypomineralization are usually a cosmetic concern and do not significantly affect oral health. Our staff at Garner Nichols Dental can help transform your smile and dissolve these issues using various dental procedures.
How You Can Get Rid of White Spots
There are a number of ways to get rid of these white spots on your teeth. One method most commonly used is by teeth whitening or bleaching. This will conceal the discoloration, however, this is only effective if your discoloration is the minimal level.
Another common way to rid white spots from teeth is by being prescribed an anti-cavity gum or paste.
How You Can Prevent White Spots
The best way to prevent white spots is through perfect brushing and flossing. Choosing tooth-healthy foods and beverages can also help prevent them, and it’s also important to use a fluoride toothpaste to prevent decalcification. Here are five healthy habits that protect teeth from white spots:
• Drink water instead of soda
• Eat meals instead of snacks
• Brush after eating
• Floss nightly
• Visit the dentist every six months
Patients with braces often need some extra help, so we recommend that kids take additional steps to ensure they stay protected. Some enhanced oral hygiene techniques include:
• Special Procedures for Brushing and Flossing: If you have read this far, you know how important brushing and flossing are for patients with braces. These patients can benefit from a power (sonicare) toothbrush to help remove plaque effectively, pre-threaded flossers, plaque-disclosing tablets and positive motivation.
• Prescription-Strength Fluoride: After improving brushing and flossing, the next most effective method to prevent white spots is with prescription-strength fluoride, which has been proven to reduce cavities in kids. Fluoride fights cavities by incorporating itself into the surface of the tooth, replacing the hydroxyl group in hydroxyapatite, the mineral content of teeth, thus allowing tooth enamel to become more resistant to dissolution by acid.
Four effective methods of topical fluoride application that we recommend include fluoride toothpaste, mouth rinse, gels and varnish.
Our dentists are here to help. White spots can be prevented if you follow the steps of good oral hygiene.
Call us today at (601) 271-7300 or email us to schedule an appointment!