What are those white spots that some people have on their teeth?
Have you noticed that some people have white spots on their teeth, like the ones you just saw in the picture above? They can arise for a variety of reasons, and one of them is excessive exposure to fluoride when we are still children. That's right, dear reader, the very substance that helps make teeth more resistant to tooth decay can also cause problems - in this case, one called dental fluorosis.
Dental fluorosis occurs when large amounts of fluoride are consumed while permanent teeth are not yet born. This ingestion may occur through excess water, certain supplements, and the consumption of toothpastes enriched with this compound.
Before we reach age 8 - approximately - our permanent teeth are still developing under the gum. So, what excessive fluoride consumption does is interfere with the dental formation process, affecting the production of tooth enamel.
The most common cause of stains is dental fluorosis.
As a result, some spots on the enamel do not form properly, and whitish - and even darker - spots appear on the teeth. It is noteworthy that fluoride, since in controlled quantities, is very important to control the emergence of caries. Therefore, it is good to keep an eye on the established limits!
For children up to 6 months, the daily dose should not exceed 0.01 milligrams per day, while from 7 to 12 months, it should be up to 0.5 mg / day. For small children between 1 and 3 years, the dose rises to 0.7 mg / day, and for children between 4 and 8 years, the recommendation is up to 1 milligram daily. Remember that fluoride in water and other beverages usually corresponds to 75% of daily needs.
Although dental fluorosis is the most common cause of blemishes, as we explained at the beginning of the article, it is not the only one! Signs may also appear due to a problem called tooth enamel hypoplasia, a defect that results in enamel demineralization.
Fixed braces and poor oral hygiene can cause teeth to stain
This failure may be hereditary, but may also result from nutritional deficiencies and as a side effect of certain medications. In addition, premature children may also have this condition, as well as those whose mothers smoked during pregnancy.
Another cause of the appearance of stains would be the demineralization itself, caused by the action of plaque on the tooth. As you may have heard from your dentist, plaque builds up due to improper brushing, and demineralization often affects people who use braces and do not perform proper oral hygiene.
In addition to these problems already described, reflux sufferers may also develop tooth stains as there is a possibility that the mouth may have higher than normal levels of acidity. Remember that some foods - such as very acidic items, some teas, coffee etc. - can cause blemishes, but the good news is that there are ways to improve and even get rid of these unwanted signs.
One of the most common ways to remedy tooth stains is a procedure called microabrasion. It consists of removing a very thin layer of tooth enamel, thereby improving its appearance, and this technique can be combined with tooth whitening.
Another option would be to place porcelain veneers over the teeth to cover the stains. In this case, only a slight removal of the most superficial layer of the teeth is necessary for the parts to be installed, and the result is quite natural.