Braces cause white stains on teeth

White spots on teeth - where do they come from?

What kind of white spots are these?

In their early stages, the white spots on the teeth are not recognizable for us normal people and if they do, then we often assess them as harmless, after all, most of us only know brown discoloration of the teeth, namely in the form of caries. But white spots are not to be underestimated either. This chalky-white discoloration on the teeth is milky, opaque, and feels dull and rough. Most of the time, the stains appear on the incisors, but your canines or molars are not spared either. The white spots can appear on individual teeth as well as on complete rows of teeth.

What are the causes of white spots on teeth?

Children and adolescents as well as adults can be affected. And just like those affected, the causes are also complex.

 

Fluorosis

The white spots often appear in toddlers from the age of two. In most cases it is a so-called fluorosis, whereby a distinction is made between a mild and a strongly pronounced form. Fluorosis occurs when there is an oversupply of fluoride. In principle, fluoride is not a bad thing, but is often found as an ingredient in toothpastes with the purpose of fighting tooth decay. It is particularly important to ensure the correct dosage is used in children. Too little fluoride does not provide adequate protection against caries, whereas too much fluoride can also have a negative effect on the health of your teeth.

 

Because fluoride reduces the formation of tooth decay, but it also disrupts the build-up of tooth enamel, which in turn affects the development of the teeth. Frequent reasons for an excess of fluoride are contaminated drinking water, a toothpaste that is not suitable for children with too high a fluoride content or fluoride tablets. An overdose of fluoride in childhood often affects the health of the teeth even in adulthood. The fluoride can build up in the permanent teeth before they erupt and cause white spots. Children who have a tendency to a lot of caries in their milk teeth often get the annoying white spots on their permanent teeth.

 

Demineralization

Another common cause of white spots on teeth is demineralization (decalcification) of tooth enamel. Acids (e.g. fruit acids) attack the tooth enamel and loosen minerals from the tooth. The loss of minerals such as calcium and phosphorus is a natural process, but it makes tooth enamel porous and more prone to tooth decay. Wearers of fixed braces with brackets are particularly affected, as the brackets are attached with a special adhesive under which the tooth enamel cannot sufficiently remineralize.

Initial caries

If your teeth have been healthy up to now and you suddenly discover white spots on your teeth, then it is very likely that you are dealing with initial caries. This is a form of caries in the early stages, which leads to decalcification of the tooth enamel and a bright discoloration of the teeth. In this case, you should definitely visit a trustworthy dentist and get treatment. If left untreated, particles of food and bacteria can accumulate on the rough surface of the white spots and the spots become progressively darker.

What can your dentist do about white spots?

With a few exceptions, the treatment is painless and can be carried out without anesthesia. Depending on what is causing the white spots on your teeth, your dentist has various treatment options available, and it is often even possible to make the spots disappear completely. If the cause of the white spots is demineralization of the tooth enamel, your dentist can seal the affected areas with a fluoride-containing varnish to make them more resistant. The fluoride varnish helps prevent worse things, but it cannot remove the white spots. A similar method is caries infiltration, the result of which is a bright white smile without discoloration. The dentist first applies a gel to the affected areas, which is then filled with a liquid plastic, the so-called infiltrate.

 

Since in most cases the white stains cannot be removed, your dentist can harmonize the tooth color with professional whitening and thereby almost even out irregularities. This treatment may need to be repeated. Another possibility to remove the annoying discoloration as effectively as possible is to use so-called "veneers". Veneers are thin adhesive shells, usually made of plastic or ceramic, which the dentist sticks to the front of the affected tooth, thereby creating a visually harmonious overall impression. This form of treatment is particularly effective and gentle at the same time, as the teeth do not have to be ground or only need to be ground to a minimum.

What can you do yourself against the white spots?

Even if you cannot actively do anything against existing white spots, there are a few things you can do to prevent white spots from forming. We recommend regular and above all balanced dental care with fluoride and, above all, regular visits to the dentist, as the dentist can recognize and treat the white spots in good time. Changing your eating habits can also prevent white spots from occurring, as too much sugar, tea, coffee and cigarettes increase the likelihood that your teeth will be discolored.

We recommend that those with fixed braces brush their teeth particularly thoroughly and then use a fluoride mouth rinse. As a parent, you should make sure that your child does not consume too much fluoride between the ages of two and nine. You can use child-friendly toothpastes with a reduced fluoride content and avoid sugar and highly processed foods. So if you don't want white spots on your teeth, make sure you have thorough dental care, regular dentist visits and a balanced diet. And if you still discover white spots on your teeth - don't panic, your dentist will take care of them!


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