A bright smile can do a lot. It can light up a room and cheer others up. A charming smile can even get a person out of trouble from time to time. Having a great smile makes others think that a person has confidence, and that’s why it’s important to keep your teeth as bright and white as possible.
While there are several things that can go wrong with teeth, one condition that is commonly seen are white spots. White spots are marks that show up as a brighter white on the otherwise normal tooth. The white spots stand out as something wrong because they clearly don’t belong there. Not only do white spots seem out of place, they are a sign that the teeth are not in the best shape they can be.
First, a little background on what white spots are all about. In dental terms, white spots are called hypomineralization. That means that the layer of enamel that protects your teeth has started to lose some hard minerals. And when that happens, acid can start to dissolve the surface of the tooth. In other words, it is the beginning of tooth decay.
The good news is that white spots on the teeth are completely preventable. With proper oral hygiene and good brushing habits, white spots are not a threat to your beautiful, bright smile.
So how do you prevent white spots on the teeth?
Well, in order to prevent white spots, you need to know what causes them in the first place.
While fluoride can help prevent tooth decay, too much of it can be harmful for the teeth, especially for young people. If teeth are still developing, too much fluoride can cause damage to a tooth’s protective enamel layer. We are often exposed to more fluoride that we realize. Fluoride is added to many cities’ drinking water, as well as to toothpaste and supplements.
One of the most common reasons that people start to see white spots appear on their teeth is because of plaque buildup due to poor brushing habits. Whether plaque is on the surface of the tooth or near the gums, it eventually starts to break down the teeth, allowing for white spots to appear.
People who have braces often see more white spots than others. That is simply because it is more difficult to keep up good brushing practices with braces on. Because of all the brackets and wires that come with braces, there are more places for plaque to hide, and more places for white spots to form.
So, now that you know where white spots come from, what can you do to make sure you don’t suffer from a white spot invasion?
Check your levels
To make sure you are not getting too much fluoride in your mouth that can lead to tooth decay, stay informed. Check to see what your city’s fluoride levels are,(it can usually be found on the city website). And don’t forget to read the labels of your toothpaste and supplements. From there, you can adjust your intake.
Develop good habits
Some habits are hard to break and that can be especially true for how we brush our teeth. If you are rushing through your teeth care routine, or are perhaps only an occasional flosser, maybe you need a reminder to slow down. Try leaving a note on your bathroom mirror or setting a reminder on your phone to take your time when brushing and flossing your teeth. It’s also a good idea to invest in some mouth wash to make sure you are removing as much plaque as possible each day.
Try simply smiling at yourself in the mirror. This simple act will remind you of how far a bright smile can go. By keeping tabs on your own teeth and doing self inspections, you will see if there are any problem areas starting to take shape.
Regularly scheduled check ups and cleanings with your dentist will help keep your teeth on track. If you are concerned about white spots on your teeth, there are several treatments to correct the problem. For example, bleaching and microabrasion can help adjust the colour of your teeth.
If you need orthodontic treatment, or are looking to speak to a professional about your oral health, call us at South Surrey Smiles today. Our excellent and friendly staff will help you achieve the bright beautiful smile you’ve always wanted.
Dr. Lesley Williams is a Certified Specialist in Orthodontics. She grew up in Victoria, BC with her parents and two sisters.
After being awarded her Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) degree in 1989, Dr. Williams then spent six years as a dentist in general practice before deciding that she wanted to further her education by undertaking three extra years of highly specialized training in orthodontics. With her Masters in Science (Orthodontics) degree under her belt, she went on to sit the Orthodontic Specialty Fellowship exams through the Royal College of Dentists of Canada. To date, her status as an active leader in the orthodontic profession means that she holds the following qualifications and positions:
- Certified Specialist in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
- Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada
- Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics
- Examiner for the Royal College of Dentists of Canada and the American Board of Orthodontics.
- Former president of the Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists (representing 2900 orthodontists from the 4 western Canadian provinces and 8 western American states).
- Active member of the Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontists.