Why Do Some Children Get White Spots on Their Teeth?

Pediatric Dentistry for Avon, Connecticut

You may have noticed white spots on your toddler’s teeth and wondered if you should be concerned. There could be a couple of causes for the spots. If you see them, you should take your child to a pediatric dentist who can figure out the reason and recommend the best form of treatment.

Tooth Decay

One possible cause of the white spots on your child’s teeth is a cavity. Tooth decay often causes pale, chalky-colored spots along the gum line in children. If the cavity is not treated, the spots can turn yellow or brown.

At an early stage, the decay is reversible. Your pediatric dentist can remove any plaque and tartar and may recommend treating your child’s teeth with a fluoride varnish. Fluoride applied at an early stage can reverse tooth decay by strengthening the enamel and preventing acid from wearing away teeth.

Too Much Fluoride

The other possible cause of the white spots on your child’s teeth is the opposite: too much fluoride. Fluorosis is a condition that develops when a child gets too much fluoride. It can cause white spots or streaks on the permanent teeth. Fluorosis only occurs when a child’s teeth are developing, so it generally does not affect baby teeth that form before a baby is born. The risk of fluorosis decreases when permanent teeth erupt.

Fluorosis is usually not harmful to a child’s teeth, but you should try to make sure your child is getting the right amount of fluoride. If your local water supply contains fluoride, your child might be getting more than he or she needs from drinking water. You can offer other beverages or bottled water that does not contain fluoride sometimes instead of tap water.

Young children do not need to use fluoride mouth rinses or tablets. You should also limit the amount of fluoride toothpaste your child uses. Toddlers only need an amount the size of a grain of rice, and older children can use a pea-sized amount. Make sure your child spits out the toothpaste instead of swallowing it if he or she is able to do so to limit the amount of fluoride ingested. Brush your teeth with your child so he or she can see how to do it correctly.

Schedule an Appointment with a Pediatric Dentist

If you see white spots on your child’s teeth, you do not need to be alarmed, but you should schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist to figure out whether they are caused by decay or too much fluoride. Your dentist can then recommend the right treatment to keep your child’s teeth healthy. If your child has white spots on his or her teeth, schedule an appointment with CT Pediatric Dentistry today.

West Hartford: 860-523-4213
North Windham: 860-456-0506
Unionville: 860-673-3900

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The Kids' Dentists of CT Pediatric Dentistry   (Click their photo for more info)

David Epstein
CT Pediatric Dentist
David Epstein
A.B., D.D.S., M.S.D.

22 Jan 2022 11:55 PM