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5 Causes of White Spots on Teeth

We commonly hear our patients seek a whiter smile, but in some cases, yellowing or stained teeth are not the only reason why. White spots on teeth can cause people to feel just as self-conscious as a dull smile. Let’s discuss what causes these spots and what you can do about them.

5 Causes of White Spots on Teeth


This occurs when the minerals in your teeth begin to wear away, which can affect the look of your smile and lead to decay.

Plaque Buildup

If you are not brushing twice daily and going in for regular teeth cleanings, you may notice plaque buildup on the teeth that may cause white spots to appear. This is common to see when braces are removed, and good oral hygiene was not practiced during the duration of the treatment.


This is most commonly seen in children exposed to excessive fluoride levels.

Enamel Hypoplasia

Similar in appearance to fluorosis, this condition is caused by thinning enamel of the teeth. It may be caused by poor nutrition, side effects of certain medications, high fever, and prenatal smoking.


A diet high in sugary foods and low in calcium may be the perfect combination to create white spots on the teeth. Bacteria in the mouth love sugar, and the more sugary foods consumed lead to an increased risk of decay (white spots). Additionally, calcium deficiency may affect the strength of the enamel of the teeth and lead to white spots.

Preventing White Spots on the Teeth

The best way to prevent these spots from occurring on the teeth is to practice good oral hygiene and aim to eat a healthy diet. Daily oral hygiene should include:

  • Brushing twice daily for at least 2 minutes
  • Flossing daily
  • Drinking water after eating or drinking other beverages
  • Chewing sugar-free gum after eating
  • Using an alcohol-free mouth rinse

The foods we eat and the beverage we drink also play a large role in preventing this spotted appearance. Generally, food and drinks with high acidity and sugar should be avoided.

5 Causes of White Spots on Teeth

Treatment Options

If you already have white spots on your teeth, your best resource is your dentist. Knowing the cause of the discoloration is necessary to determine the best treatment options. Treatment options may include:

  • Change in diet
  • Practicing good oral hygiene
  • Limiting fluoride consumption
  • Evaluating medications
  • Professional teeth whitening
  • Dental veneers
  • ICON treatment – a painless procedure in which a resin is applied to the tooth and fills the damaged pores 

Talk to your dentist today to determine treatment and prevention options.