How Do I Remove The White Spots On My Teeth?

White spots on your teeth can be caused by a number of things. If you had orthodontic treatment and weren't always able to brush effectively around the appliance, white spots may have formed. If you ingested too much fluoride as a child, you could now have fluorosis. Sometimes as teeth grow, too much calcium is released, resulting in white spots. Whatever the reason—genetic, nutritional, hereditary—you probably want to minimize the appearance of discolored teeth. And you're in luck—there are both at-home and in-office options. Take a look:

Air Abrasion

While it won't remove the problem entirely, sticking to your biannual cleaning of scaling/polishing will minimize the appearance of white spots. If you want to remove the problem entirely, you may want to try air abrasion. The air abrasion tool blows a powerful jet of air filled with particles of aluminum oxide. Like a sandblaster that cleans walls, the tiny particles in air abrasion bounce off the tooth and blast any discoloration and decay away.

Over-the-Counter and In-Office Whitening

While this option doesn't remove the problem, it does disguise it. Since the spots on your teeth are probably lighter than your teeth's natural color, your dentist can make a custom tray so that you can match your teeth to the lighter color.

If you want to try whitening individual teeth or just a portion of your tooth, the best over-the-counter method is a gel pen. You'll have more control of what portions of your teeth you'll want to color versus a strip which whiten all of your teeth equally.

Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is a great option because it's less invasive than crowns or veneers. While dental sealants are applied to molars for functional reasons, dental bonding is applied to the fronts of teeth for cosmetic purposes. During this procedure, your dentist will apply a durable plastic material to your teeth. The plastic's color will give your teeth a uniform look. Once the dentist applies the material, he or she will use a light to cure it so that it bonds to the enamel.

Calcium-Phosphate Paste

This is a better at-home option over whitening because it doesn't just disguise the problem, it strengthen your teeth. The ingredients in these pastes combine calcium phosphate and dairy proteins.

Some of the creams come with trays (or you can request custom-made trays from your dentist) and you apply the paste like you would a whitening solution. If you only want to use the paste on a few teeth, you can put a drop on a q-tip and apply it to your teeth. Like a whitening solution, you'll let the paste sit on your teeth for an allotted amount of time before rinsing.

These pastes are great because they help restore the normal pH levels in your mouth and remineralize your enamel with the right amount of phosphate, fluoride and calcium.

If you're nervous about any of these procedures, you can always try sedation dentistry to achieve the results you want.