A possible cause for white spots on teeth can be “mottled enamel.”  When the teeth are first forming, excessive fluoride consumption can cause mottled teeth.  This can occur when a child drinks water with excessive high concentrations of fluoride or continued swallowing of a fluoride toothpaste.  This disorder is called dental fluorosis.  Fluorosis affects young children and appears as white, chalky spots on the enamel.  Fluorosis can be prevented by decreasing the amount of fluoride consumption of infants and toddlers.  Be sure to use a toothpaste that is safe for toddlers, in the event that it is swallowed.

The white spots on teeth can also be caused by an accumulation of plaque on the teeth.  It can occur as a result of not brushing or flossing on a regular basis, especially when a person has braces and the teeth are more difficult to keep clean.  It is caused by a build up of plaque deposits underneath or around the actual location of brackets.  This causes the demineralization of the tooth structure.  This can be prevented by proper brushing and flossing, and the diligent cleaning of the teeth with braces.  Many people find a water flosser very helpful in the removal of plaque around brackets.

Additionally, white spots on teeth can also be caused by enamel hypoplasia or a highly acidic diet.  Enamel hypoplasia refers to having less enamel than normal.  It can be caused by a nutritional deficiency which causes mineral loss in the tooth.  It can also be caused by antibiotics to treat a high fever in a young child.  This interferes with nutrient absorption.  A highly acidic diet can cause white spots because the highly acidic foods can eat away at the tooth enamel.

If you have any concerns about white spots on the teeth, feel free to call our office to set up an appointment for an examination.