White stains on your teeth
White spots on the teeth can be disconcerting. Although you know you can expect some brown or yellow patches on the teeth from time to time, and you know how to treat them, no one seems to talk about them. These marks are not a direct indication of poor health in general, but should not be ignored as they can have serious consequences on your dental health.
White spots on teeth can be caused by a condition called fluorosis, which is more prominent in children, but is sometimes seen in adults and occurs when too much fluoride is ingested. Fluoride is commonly added to public drinking water to prevent cavities. For adults, the main culprit of them is the loss of mineralization of the teeth, and it can happen when there is too much acid in drinks, plaque or even acid reflux that comes into contact With teeth. This often occurs after the brackets have been removed or after using whitening materials, which are very acidic.
While the white spots on the teeth look less harmful than the yellow teeth, this is not necessarily true. Fluorosis is usually harmless, but there are severe cases where a child’s teeth can develop deep wells and turn brown with white spots. With white spots caused by enamel demineralization, you are seeing the early stages of tooth decay. If left alone, eventually a tooth decay will develop.
Fluoride enamel typically occurs in children under 8 years of age, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and children who frequently drink fluoridated water are at a greater risk of developing white spots on their teeth. As an adult, you may be prone to demineralization if you drink very acidic beverages, have acid reflux, are bulimic, or have bad habits of dental hygiene.
Removal of white spots is not as simple as removing surface stains. With fluorosis, once the fluoride is in the tooth, it is permanent, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. With demineralization of the enamel, you need to take steps to avoid further erosion of the tooth or caries will probably appear. Both conditions warrant a visit to the dentist, which can help you keep your teeth healthy and offer cosmetic solutions for you.
To avoid fluorosis, control your child’s fluoride intake. Since most public water contains fluoride this could mean you have to buy non-fluoridated water to alternate with tap water. To prevent demineralization, follow the guidelines of the American Dental Association to prevent tooth decay: brush your teeth twice a day, floss every day, visit your dentist regularly, and eat a well-balanced diet.