White Spots On Your Teeth? How Do You Get Rid Of Them?

By: Dr. Rebecca Koenigsberg

Are white or brown spots on your teeth standing in the way of the smile of your dreams? What is causing them and how do you get rid of them?

Here’s the breakdown:

What causes white or brown spots on your teeth?

  • Dental Fluorosis –  This is caused by overexposure to fluoride during the first 8 years of life. Resulting tooth stains can range from yellow to dark brown and create surface irregularities or even pits that are highly noticeable. The teeth are very resistant to decay but are esthetically compromised.
  • Old Dental Work – Wear and tear on dental fillings, crowns and bridges can cause them to change their color. The metal in fillings might leach into the tooth over time changing the color of the tooth.
  • Dark spots of decay around the edges of dental fillings or crowns can also develop when bacteria has entered through the gap that opens between fillings and teeth.
  • Enamel Hypoplasia – Hypoplasia (or under development of the enamel) is a caused by a disruption in tooth development while the enamel is forming. It appears as chalky, white, or yellowish-brown patches. They may be hard but unesthetic or they may be softer and more susceptible to decay
  • Celiac Disease – Dental symptoms are often the first indications of this disease, which usually effect the molars and incisors.  Symptoms often include patches or speckles or brown, yellow or whitish discoloration, weak enamel, pitting or translucence.
  • Aging – As we get older the enamel on our teeth slowly wears and develops craze lines. This process can lead to yellowish-brown discoloration at the edges of teeth.

Can You Get Rid Of Them?

If you see white spots developing, get treatment as soon as possible. This will prevent additional problems, such as cavities, from occurring.

Some treatments your dentists may consider include:

  • Dental Veneer– This is a thin porcelain shell that is custom made and bonded to the front of the tooth to give it a natural look. Dental veneers can not only hide the discoloration, but also protect the tooth from further damage.
  • Composite Resin – Composite resin fillings (also known as white fillings) are a type of filling made of glass or quartz within a resin medium that produces a tooth-colored material. They are used to fill cavities, restore tooth decay, and prevent further decay.
  • If your teeth has only a few, small spots, your dentist might use a material called composite resin to mask the surface.
  • Tooth Whitening – Bleach contained in tooth whiteners can break the white spots and eliminate minor stain on the teeth. For the best results seek advice from your dentist.
  • Enamel Microabrasion – Your dentist may use a mechanical rotating tool to scrape off a thin layers of your discolored enamel. This only works if the discoloration is superficial.


Practice good oral hygiene – This includes brushing and flossing on a regular basis. If possible, brush and rinse your mouth after every meal. You should also floss nightly and use an electric toothbrush designed to reduce plaque buildup.

Maintain a balanced diet – Reduce sugary and acidic foods and drinks.

Keep your braces clean – Maintaining your braces, especially around the brackets and wires, will prevent the development of white marks on your teeth

Quit smoking – It’s bad for your teeth AND your health!

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