Patients want a bright smile that shows clean, healthy teeth. Stains on teeth can mar this smile, so patients need to know how to get rid of white spots on teeth. These stains can be whiter than the actual tooth color and are usually a sign of decay. This decay can be caused by diet, genetics, poor dental hygiene or dental treatments designed to help the teeth.
The spots can be caused by a diet rich in acidic foods and drinks, such as soda, vitamin water, lemonade, and foods based on lemon and vinegar. They can also be a result of acid reflux disease or a change in the mineral makeup of the teeth. Poor dental hygiene can also cause stains, by letting plaque build up, creating bacteria and acid that attack the enamel on the teeth, weakening it.
People who are undergoing orthodontic treatments with braces can also have these stains develop, since there are places on the teeth that are particularly hard to reach when brushing and that are ideal for plaque and harmful bacteria buildup. Certain medications and illnesses, especially in children, can also cause white spots to appear. On young children the condition is called toddler teeth discoloration. Additionally, fluorosis, a condition created by excess fluoride intake, can also cause white stains to appear.
If patients are looking for how to get rid of white spots on teeth, they need to begin with a strict oral hygiene routine that includes brushing their teeth often and correctly as well as flossing daily to remove plaque and prevent any buildup. Parents can try to remove their children’s white spots by brushing their teeth with baking soda and water, or even with adult toothpaste. If the stains do not disappear, then the parents should consult the dentist for further treatment and to discover the cause of the discoloration.
Consuming a diet that avoids highly acidic foods such as the ones mentioned above will also help to limit the enamel’s exposure and subsequent deterioration from the acid. Just as important is making sure that the diet is balanced and healthy.
Professional treatment to remove the white spots from the teeth includes microabrasion, a process in which the dentist rubs a mixture of pumice and acid on the teeth to remove the spots. This does not work on all spots, however, and can leave the teeth a darker color. The procedure normally costs between $50 and $150 per tooth.
Dental bonding is also used. Dental or tooth bonding involves the dentist roughening the tooth surface, applying a bonding agent and then using restorative material to fill the parts missing on the surface. The result is a tooth that looks smooth, polished and totally natural. The average costs from this treatment range from$300 to $600 per tooth.
Dentists can also use porcelain or composite veneers, or very thin laminates, bonded to the top of teeth. This material is harder than enamel and resists stains better. Porcelain veneers can cost $700 and $2500 per tooth while composite veneers can cost about $250 per tooth.