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Why are there white spots on my teeth?

This is a question patients ask us all the time. There are a number of reasons that could be responsible for those white spots on your teeth:


  • Fluorosis – Fluorosis is a side effect of excessive fluoride during enamel formation. Fluoride strengthens enamel, but too much can cause color changes to your teeth. Fluorosis can be very mild or severe in terms of its appearance. Fortunately, there are no major side effects other than the way the teeth look. Rest assured, the benefits far outweigh the risks.


  • Enamel decalcification – The outer layer of teeth, the hyper-strong enamel, is at risk of decalcification from a number of sources. Bacteria in your mouth can eat sugars and release acid, or from acid in your diet (i.e coffee and citrus fruits), or from medical conditions like acid reflux. The acid weakens your teeth and these white spots on your teeth can be the result. If not addressed early, these can turn into cavities.


  • White spots after braces – Plaque will collect around the metal brackets or Invisalign attachments. If the plaque isn’t cleaned, the enamel weakens and results in white spot formation.


  • It’s just the way it is – Teeth shade is a spectrum. Some people have naturally lighter teeth, some have multiple shades, and others have white spots.

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There are a number of different treatments to address these white spots. One newer treatment is called ICON, and it is yet another no-drill option we now offer in our office. It works by gently removing the weak enamel with an etchant and then flowing a practically colorless, liquid filling into the exposed areas. The results can be tremendous, blending the previously spotty areas with the surrounding, more naturally colored areas.

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If you have white spots on your teeth, we offer multiple treatments to correct them. ICON is one of the latest materials we’ve added to our arsenal, and we continue to look for other ways to treat our patients safely and conservatively. Our goal is to be able to offer a treatment plan that fits your needs, and new materials make it easier than ever to find a plan that works for you. Either Dr. Dow or I can evaluate and treat these white spots and answer any questions you may have. Please schedule some time with us to go over your options.

Stay safe and enjoy your summer!

Alex Fisher


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