If you've had white spots on your teeth for as long as you can remember, chances are that they've been there since your childhood. This kind of white spot isn't the fault of anyone who has them, but even so, it can make you feel self-conscious or embarrassed by your smile. If you're tired of feeling that way, here's what you should know about your spots and what you can do about them.
What Those White Spots Are
The white spots you have are most likely from a condition called fluorosis. The white spots are what happens when a child is exposed to an excessive level of fluoride while the teeth are still being made in the body. The good news is that this condition doesn't pose any hazard to your teeth or their safety when it comes to developing cavities. However, the stains left behind by this condition can essentially be lifelong if you don't seek help from a cosmetic dentist, as they won't go away on their own.
Why At-Home Methods Aren't Foolproof
You might think that simply bleaching your teeth at home is an option. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to give you the results that you want. Fluorosis spots often resist bleaching for the simple fact that the discoloration is excessive fluoride mineral in your tooth, not from an external source. At-home whitening products are intended to make enamel look better, not fluoride, so they may not be able to change the color of your fluoride patches. That would mean you'd have to bleach the surrounding tooth surface to match the spots, and that would be incredibly difficult to manage to do at home.
The good news is that a cosmetic dentist can help you to remove those white spots for good and to get your smile looking good again. There are two ways that they can do this: enamel microabrasion and professional-level tooth whitening.
Enamel microabrasion is a process where your dentist uses very gentle and precise means to reduce the amount of fluoride buildup at the surface of the tooth. This allows them to level out the tooth if there are any imperfections and to reduce the appearance of abnormal whiteness of the spots. From there, tooth whitening is used to perfectly match your entire tooth to one shade of white, which is easier for a dentist to control, as they have professional training and access to a much wider variety of professional-grade whitening products.
If you've struggled with your white spots in an attempt to whiten them in the past or have just felt self-conscious about having them, it's time to get rid of them. Visit your local dentist and get the smile you deserve. For more information, reach out to a cosmetic dentist at a clinic such as The Smile Architects.