Why Do My Child’s Teeth Have White Spots?

By October 11, 2017Oral Health
dental check up

As a parent, it’s your job to tend to your child’s health and well-being, and this includes ensuring good oral health. Luckily, your dentist is always available to discuss issues, perform checkups, provide advice and treatment options, and generally pave the way for proper dental development.

Even with proper care from both parents and dentists, however, kids could experience any number of anomalies as baby teeth grow in, and eventually get replaced by permanent teeth. For example, you might start to notice white spots on your child’s teeth. What are these spots? Are they cause for concern? Here’s what you should know.

Enamel Hypoplasia

This is often mistaken for fluorosis, but it’s actually more common among babies and small children. It is merely a spot or spots on the tooth that are less mineralized. Enamel hypoplasia could be caused by any number of factors, such as nutritional deficiency, illness (especially with high fever), or side effects of certain medications.

Enamel hypoplasia is not necessarily of immediate concern, especially in baby teeth. It is simply an area of the tooth that could be more prone to tooth decay, so it needs to be monitored carefully by you and your child’s dentist. A dental professional may also advise a course of treatment to avoid potential tooth decay.

Demineralization

Plaque can be a major problem. If it sits on teeth too long it can cause demineralization that paves the way for tooth decay. However, you can catch it early if you start to notice white spots forming on teeth, especially at the gum line as they erupt.

Proper oral hygiene on the home front is a must to avoid this issue, as are regular dental visits. With proper care, demineralization is one of the easiest dental problems to combat.

Fluorosis

Parents may jump to the conclusion that fluoride is to blame for white spots on teeth, but this condition is much more common in permanent teeth than baby teeth, and even then, it’s not terribly common if you follow a proper oral health and hygiene regimen. Dentists generally know when water is fluoridated, for example, and they will caution parents not to use fluoride toothpaste as a result.

Your child’s dentist is going to be extremely careful about advising you to use products with fluoride because of the high risk that children will swallow it and suffer from fluorosis. Fluoride is great for strengthening teeth and staving off tooth decay, but it is usually reserved for older kids.