If you have areas on your teeth that appear more white than the rest of your smile, you may be wondering what’s going on. White spots, lines, or streaks on the teeth are typically the result of dental fluorosis, which happens when children get too much fluoride from any source such as drinking water or toothpaste .
What can be done about these white spots on the teeth? Read on to find out who’s at risk as well as what treatments are available for dental fluorosis.
Who Is at Risk for Dental Fluorosis?
Dental fluorosis can only happen in childhood, typically, age eight or younger . This is because the permanent teeth are still developing underneath the gums at this age, and once the teeth come through the gum tissue, you can no longer get dental fluorosis. Unfortunately, once the permanent teeth come in and have white spots as the result of dental fluorosis, the condition can’t be reversed.
The White Spots Generally Aren’t Harmful to Your Teeth
Fortunately, dental fluorosis isn’t normally harmful to the teeth. However, it can result in a chalky white appearance on teeth that’s uneven in nature.
For some patients with dental fluorosis, the appearance of the white spots or streaks is subtle. In other cases, it can be a bit more obvious. In cases such as these, it makes sense that you would want to seek treatment to reduce the appearance of fluorosis on your teeth.
What Treatments Are Available?
Any treatment done for dental fluorosis is usually done out of cosmetic concerns, as it typically doesn’t affect your oral health in a negative way. However, for patients that want to improve the appearance of teeth affected by dental fluorosis, there are treatments available.
For some patients, a professional teeth whitening can help reduce the appearance of the white spots. If the fluorosis is a bit more apparent, your dentist may suggest a technique called microabrasion, in which a tiny amount of tooth enamel is removed to provide the patient with a more uniform appearance to their teeth .
In other patients still, total makeover options for their smile such as dental veneers may be the only way to completely absolve the appearance of dental fluorosis. Your dentist can let you know what treatments are available to you based on your preferences and the condition of your smile.
If you have white spots on your teeth and are self-conscious about your appearance, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with your dentist. Your oral healthcare professional can conduct an exam and discuss your concerns with you before reviewing your options for reducing the appearance of your fluorosis!