What Can Cause Children to Get White Spots On Their Teeth?

The white spots that develop on some children’s teeth during adolescence can be caused by a number of factors, both internal and external. According to Dr. Cormac MacDermott of Brownstone Pediatric Dentistry in Brooklyn Heights, NY, a cosmetic dentist can help eliminate these white spots in the majority of cases.

What most people are seeing when they notice a white spot or lesion on a child’s tooth is the reflective property of the tooth. Light is reflected differently from healthy, normal enamel than it is from weakened, damaged enamel. Because of this, it can look like some children have white spots on their teeth when they are actually suffering from weakened enamel.

The classic example of this case would be a child who consumes a large amount of sugar over a long period of time. At the earliest stages when a cavity is beginning to form, that child – or his or her parents – may notice a white spot. These white spots or lesions are clear warning signs of decay, and they typically need to be removed right away. After removing the cavity, Dr. MacDermott says a cosmetic dentist in Brooklyn Heights, NY, would use bonding on the tooth, and a white filling would be placed on top.

Interestingly, however, Dr. MacDermott says cavities are not the only cause of white spots. Some people have white spots because they have a natural genetic predisposition to having areas of blemishing or whitening on their teeth. Dr. MacDermott says people should think of these spots like freckles on the skin.

As a cosmetic dentist in Brooklyn Heights, NY, Dr. MacDermott says the best way to treat these types of white spots is by whitening the entire surface of the tooth and bringing the background enamel up to the same shade of white as the lesion or spot. This treatment method is classically used for slightly older children – usually around the ages of 12, 13, and 14 years old.

Another treatment option in cases where a genetic predisposition is causing the lesions is for a cosmetic dentist in Brooklyn Heights, NY, to polish away the white area on the surface of the tooth and use white bonding or a white filling in that area. This treatment option would typically be used for white spots that do not respond well to bleaching.

Finally, Dr. MacDermott points out that white spots can be caused by trauma. If a tooth is bumped or if there is some type of trauma that occurs along the surface while it is forming, then white spots may appear. Again, this issue can be repaired quite easily with a combination of whitening and bonding, or a type of polishing that is used specifically for these types of situations.

Cormac MacDermott is a pediatric dentist at Brownstone Pediatric Dentistry
142 Joralemon Street Suite 12C
Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201
Phone: 718-855-2855

*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.

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