Good that you have finally noticed the unsightly white spots on your teeth. All of us crave for tooth whitening, yet too white a spot on a tooth can be disturbing. Usually, white spots on teeth are a cosmetic issue but sometimes, they can lead to tooth decay too and thus it becomes essential to remove white spots on teeth. These unnaturally bright spots on teeth may or may not indicate decay of your teeth depending upon the underlying cause. Therefore, before you get to know how to get rid of white spots on teeth, you must know what causes them.
What are White Spots on Teeth?
White spots on teeth are an indication of loss of mineral content from the surface of your teeth that you know as enamel. This is technically known as hypocalcification. Your dentist will call these white spots by the name of hypoplasia. In fact, white spot on teeth can be the first sign of tooth decay. So, when the enamel of your tooth shows opaque color in a spot, it may be a sign that the cavity is starting to form at that place. At this point, you should consult your dentist to know the cause of white spots on your teeth.
What Causes White Spots on Teeth?
Here are some of the major causes of white spots on teeth.
Dry mouth- When your mouth is dry, it doesn’t have enough saliva to keep the pH level of your mouth neutral. When pH level is not right, bacteria grow and survive to attack your teeth with their acid.
Having acidic foods- Foods having high acidic content like sour candies and those made with lemon and vinegar can cause white spots on teeth. So is the case with acidic drinks like carbonated soda and lemonade etc. The high acidic content in these foods and drinks removes the teeth’s enamel and other natural minerals leading to white spots on teeth.
Poor Oral Hygiene- If you don’t take enough care to clean your mouth, plaque will build up there on your teeth. Plaque can be understood as the sticky, colorless film of bacteria and debris that forms on your teeth just after you finish eating carbohydrates that mean all the sugars and starches you have. These bacteria then feed on these sugars and produce acid that damages your teeth’s enamel causing white spot and then tooth decay.
Fluorosis or excessive fluoride- While fluoride is one of the essential minerals to keep teeth healthy, excessive fluoride leads to white spots and cavities on teeth. When you consume excessive fluoride you are making your teeth prone to develop white spots. Sometimes the drinking water supplied to your area contains a high fluoride level. Fluorosis is a major cause of white spots on teeth, especially in children whose teeth’s development is under process.
Teeth whitening strips- Teeth whitening strips are strips made up of such material as plastic. It has a gel-like substance that gets glued to your teeth. If you have been using these strips for teeth whitening, they may be the cause behind your teeth’s white spots, especially if you leave them on for longer periods. These strips are highly acidic and thus capable of de-mineralize your tooth’s enamel to give you white spots on them.
Braces for teeth- Well, braces don’t actually cause white spots on teeth. However, if you do not practice good dental hygiene while wearing your braces, you will certainly get white spots on teeth. This is because plaque builds up on those hard to reach places behind braces where you are not able to brush your teeth well.
Celiac disease- This is an autoimmune disease that shortens the lifespan of those affected. It also increases the risk of developing other autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, eczema, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. Celiac disease is also highly associated with teeth enamel defects. Not only white spots on teeth, this disease can lead to undersized teeth, yellow teeth or teeth with grooves or be pitting.
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Other than the above causes genetic reasons may also be behind your white spots on teeth.
How to Get Rid of White Spots on Teeth?
If you go to your dentist, he will first diagnose the condition of the white spots on your teeth and the possible causes behind them. Accordingly, he may use different techniques to remove white spots on teeth such as micro-abrasion, bleaching, or even capping the teeth with a white filling or applying a porcelain veneer. One of the ways dentists use to remove white spots on teeth is that of remineralization. It is a way to naturally fill in the microscopic holes that give white spots their bright appearance. Home remedies to remove white spots on teeth essentially focus on remineralizing teeth. Dentists also believe that white spots fade away when brushing and flossing improve.
Make Remineralizing Toothpaste at Home
This homemade remineralizing toothpaste contains such basic elements as calcium that is undoubtedly needed for stronger and healthier teeth and its enamel. The Diatomaceous Earth in it has various trace minerals and thus very useful in remineralization of the teeth with white spots. However, it can be a little abrasive so if you don’t like it don’t use it because you are also putting in baking soda in this toothpaste. Baking soda will subtly give you the abrasion that is needed by your teeth to remove white spots along with balancing the pH levels of your mouth. Other optional ingredient Xylitol powder in this paste keeps it from becoming bitter. Coconut oil in it makes this remineralizing toothpaste anti-bacterial while other essential oils give it some flavor.
- Coconut oil- 3-5 tbsp (use according to the consistency you need)
- Calcium powder- 5 tbsp (you may use calcium tablets after grinding them)
- Baking soda- 2 tbsp
- Diatomaceous Earth (optional)- 1 tbsp
- Xylitol Powder (optional)- 3 tbsp
- Essential oils such as mint, cinnamon, orange, lemon or clove (optional)- few drops of any one or two oils
- Mix calcium, baking soda, Xylitol and Diatomaceous Earth if using in a bowl.
- Now add coconut oil to this and keep stirring while adding the oil till you get your required consistency.
- Add the essential oil if using any
- Store in a small glass jar.
- Daily brush your teeth with this paste.
- Do this 2-3 times a day.
Use Homemade Remineralizing Tooth Powder
If you are not that fond of toothpaste and have always used powder to brush your teeth, there’s a recipe for homemade remineralizing tooth powder as well. This tooth powder uses Bentonite Clay as its main ingredient along with more or less the similar ingredients that are being used in making remineralizing toothpaste. Bentonite clay has excellent capability to draw out heavy metals and toxins out of your mouth, not to talk about the bacteria that produce acid in there and give white spots on teeth. Additionally, it is alkaline in nature that balances the pH level of your mouth to further restrict bacteria from developing there. There are many minerals like calcium, magnesium and silica present in this clay that provides good nutrition to your teeth in order to remineralize it and remove white spots. This tooth powder also uses alkaline baking soda and calcium powder to provide extra calcium and magnesium to your teeth. Clove and cinnamon powder used in it has antibacterial properties apart from a naturally sweet taste though you can use Xylitol optionally to make it some sweeter. Mint and other essential oils if used provide good flavor to your tooth powder.
- Bentonite Clay- 4 tbsp
- Calcium Powder- 3 tbsp
- Cinnamon Powder- 1 tbsp
- Cloves Powder- 1 tsp
- Xylitol Powder (optional)- 1-2 tbsp
- Baking Soda (optional)- 1 tbsp
- Mint Leaf powder- (optional)- 2 tsp
- Essential oils (optional)- Peppermint/Spearmint/Cinnamon- 2-4 drops
- Mix all the ingredients and store in a glass jar with lid.
- Brush your teeth daily with this remineralizing tooth powder.
- Do this 2-3 times a day.
Avoid Phytic Acid Foods to Remineralize Teeth
Phytic acid is a known mineral blocker. Certain plant-based foods store phosphorus in them in the form of phytic acid. This phytic acid when binding to other minerals like manganese, zinc or iron, both of them form a compound called phytate. The human body doesn’t have the enzymes required to break down phytates. Thus, these minerals pass out of your body without being absorbed. While a little phytic acid gives you certain health benefits, more of it can be a health hazard as it will block all the minerals that could be used by your body. One of such health hazards are the white spots on teeth and the gradual tooth decay. So, what are the foods having phytic acid? And do you need to avoid having these foods altogether? No, you don’t. There are ways in which these foods can be made to lose most of their phytic acid. Let’s know how!
Nuts – Nuts like almonds, cashews and walnuts are one of the richest sources of phytic acid. They are healthy too. So, instead of not having nuts, have them in different ways. Don’t have them raw as they are. You may dry toast the nuts before eating. Heat will inactivate phytic acid in them. Another great way is to soak the nuts to decrease the phytic acid concentration in them. Soak the nuts overnight or at least for 4-5 hours before you have them. If you don’t want to either toast them or soak them, eat nuts with those foods that are higher in vitamin C, like strawberries and oranges.
Whole grains – These have the very high amount of phytic acid as most of the phytic acid in grains is found in the outer bran layer. Wheat bran, rice bran, oats, barley and wild rice all have a higher concentration of phytic acid but they are rather healthy to avoid altogether. Therefore, presoak your whole grains before using them in your dishes. This will decrease the amount of phytic acid in them. You may also make them using some source of yeast.
Seeds- Sesame, linseed, flaxseed, rapeseed, sunflower seed kernels and even seeds of soy plant, the soybeans have phytic acid. Have them like nuts. Soak the seeds and then dry-toast or roast them.
Beans and legumes- All types of beans including kidney, pinto, black and navy beans, dry cowpeas as well as legumes have a high content of phytic acid. Soak them overnight, preferably in slightly warm water before cooking them. Having small amounts of meat, fish or poultry with such beans and legumes also increases the rate of mineral absorption from beans.
Eat Mineral-Vitamin Rich Foods to Remineralize Teeth
Having foods rich in vitamins and minerals is essential simply because you need to give your body all the minerals that it requires to function. Most of these minerals also go into making your teeth and enamel stronger and healthier. Once you lack in minerals and get white spots on teeth, remineralization by providing an extra supply of minerals will ensure removal of these white spots. Therefore, have those foods that are good sources of calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, Vitamins K2 and D3 as well as fat-soluble vitamins. All these minerals are crucial for the formation and remineralization of your teeth.
- Have raw dairy products like raw grass-fed cow milk, kefir, cheeses that are raw and butter from milk obtained from grass-fed animals. This type of milk is a good source of many minerals and fat-soluble vitamins. This milk and its products also have sufficient calcium than the milk which comes from a cow feeding on grain.
- Have meat, fish, eggs, preferably organic and those that come from grass-fed animals.
- Consume more of oils that come from coconut and fish. When having fish oil, it’s better to get fermented cod liver oil.
- Eat the healthy olives and fruits such as avocados. They are not only rich in antioxidants but even have fat-soluble vitamins.
- Do not consume packaged foods and even other processed foods.
Get Enough Vitamin D
This is important because Vitamin D plays an important role in the formation and remineralization of a tooth. This vitamin also helps crucially in absorbing calcium by the body. Not only this, to use calcium, body needs vitamin D. Therefore, get enough sunshine during the day so that you do not become deficient in Vitamin D. However when you don’t have the opportunity to get sunshine, ask your doctor to recommend some Vitamin D supplement.
Use Green Tea to Rinse your Teeth
Green tea is a very healthy drink as we all know. it will also help in remineralization of teeth so that you can get rid of white spots on teeth. Here’s how it helps your teeth.
- Green tea has polyphenols like flavonoids, gallic acid, chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid that helps provide essential minerals and nutrients needed to remineralize teeth.
- Green tea also contains catechins that have antibacterial effects against Streptococcus mutans.
- Catechin also prevents plaque buildup which is one of the causes of white spots on teeth.
- Green tea is a natural source of fluoride. When you rinse your mouth with green tea, your teeth retain most of its fluoride content. This fluoride stays on your teeth and makes them less prone to acid dissolution.
Therefore, if you want to get rid of white spots on teeth, start rinsing your teeth with green tea.
- Green tea bag- 1 or green tea leaves- 1tsp
- Warm water- 1-2 cups
- Soak the tea bag or tea leaves in the warm water.
- Let it be there for about 5 minutes.
- Take out the tea bag or strain the leaves.
- Now check the temperature of the tea. When it is just warm enough that can be tolerated by your mouth, take some of this tea in your mouth and swirl it all around for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Repeat till all the tea has been used to rinse mouth.
- Do this 2-4 times a day.
Try Oil Pulling to Remineralize Teeth
Oil pulling is a traditional remedy initiated in India ages ago. Oil pulling means using oil to clean and detoxify teeth and gums. Not only does this removes toxins and bacteria from your mouth but also is miraculously effective in whitening teeth. It has anti-septic effects if you use such an essential oil as tea tree oil or clove oil with the coconut oil which is widely used for oil pulling. It also helps maintain smooth salivary flow in your mouth and doesn’t let it go dry. The minerals and nutrients in oil help remineralize your damaged teeth. It will not only make you get rid of white spots on teeth but will strengthen your teeth and gums considerably. In fact, oil pulling is one of the best remedies for regrowing teeth!
- Coconut oil Or Sesame oil- 2-3 tsp (or more if you feel such a need)
- Clove or tea tree tea oil (optional)- 1-2 drops
- Warm water
- In the morning, after waking up, take the coconut or sesame oil, whatever you are using and add the essential oil to this if using.
- Now take this oil in your mouth.
- Swish it all around your mouth. Initially, you may be able to do this only for 1-2 minutes.
- Increase the time of pulling oil gradually till it goes up to 20 minutes.
- After pulling oil for your set time, spit it out.
- Rinse your mouth with warm water.
- You may or may not brush your teeth now, preferably with a remineralizing toothpaste or tooth powder (like the ones discussed earlier in this article).
- While oil pulling is sufficient to do once a day, if you want better results, you may also do it twice- once in the morning and then at night before going to bed.
These were the ways to get rid of white spots on teeth naturally. However, only remedies won’t do, you should also know preventive measures to take when it comes to white spots on teeth. Here are some tips to prevent forming white spots on teeth.
Tips to Prevent White Spots on Teeth
- Avoid Sugar in your diet. Sugar (and also carbohydrate-rich foods) makes your mouth’s environment highly acidic. It also hampers salivary flow that contributes to the growth of bacteria. These bacteria produce such acids that give you white spots on teeth. Thus cut back on your intake of candies, sodas, artificial sweeteners etc.
- Instead of sugar, use natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup.
- When having fruit juices, do not add extra sugar to them.
- Include enough foods with calcium in your daily diet.
- Drink plenty of water so that your mouth doesn’t dry out easily. Drinking water is also needed to keep your salivary flow intact.
- Drink water or rinse your mouth with water after you have coffee, tea, soda or any flavored drink.
- Avoid spicy and salty foods.
- Avoid having caffeine drinks.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco products.
- Check the amount of fluoride in your toothpaste. While fluoride is essential to reduce the acid and balance the pH level of your mouth, it is detrimental when in excessive amounts. Your toothpaste is effective only if it contains 1,000 to 1,500 ppm of fluoride.
- Give special attention to your oral hygiene. Brush and floss at least twice daily. This becomes essential after having sugary foods and drinks.
- If you wear braces, you need to be more careful while cleaning your mouth and teeth. Use floss may be with hard ends, to thread under your braces easily after brushing your teeth.
While remineralization of teeth is an effective way to remove white spots on teeth, taking preventive measures will make you get rid of white spots on teeth permanently.