Oral health & hygiene is of vital importance, as the mouth is the primary gateway for bacteria to get into our bodies. Getting rid of these harmful bacteria before they go beyond the mouth ensures that our immune system doesn’t get overloaded and have to fight against anything and everything.
Maintaining oral hygiene, so you have healthy teeth and gums is one of the most important parts of human ablutions. Poor maintenance of oral hygiene can cause periodontitis, dental cavities, bad breath, and other issues. White spots on the teeth are also a result of poor oral hygiene (1) while good oral hygiene is important, a multitude of factors that can affect your teeth and gums.
What are white spots on teeth?
White spots on the teeth is a condition known as hypomineralization, hypoplasia or hypocalcification. It refers to the loss of minerals or calcium from the tooth enamel and develops when the remineralization process of the tooth is disrupted. (2)
Saliva contains electrolytes and organic molecules that stabilize the acid levels in the mouth and promote the tooth mineralization process. It is concentrated with calcium and phosphate ions. It has the ability to dilute and remove the organic acid from the plaque on your teeth.
The bacteria that form plaque on your teeth multiply in an oxygenated environment. With improper oral hygiene, the bacterial plaque thickens and blocks the saliva from penetrating the teeth. (3)
The recalcification process requires the white spots to be directly exposed to saliva, once the plaque is removed. But due to slow dispersal, the top layer of enamel is remineralized first, leaving the deeper lesions without mineralization. These deeper non-mineralized lesions under the hard shiny surface look like white spots on the teeth. (4)
What causes white spots on your teeth?
Excessive exposure to fluoride during the teeth’s development.
Nutritional deficiencies, especially calcium.
Overgrowth of bacteria and plaque on the teeth.
Certain antibiotics can cause white spots on teeth.
Smoking while pregnant.
Dehydration and dry mouth cause loss of minerals, leading to white spots.
Overconsumption of acidic foods and drinks.
Acid reflux, which may cause higher acidic levels in your mouth.
Wearing dental correction appliances.
How can you prevent white spots on your teeth?
Brush twice a day and floss once a day to prevent plaque formation.
Avoid acidic drinks as well as sweet and sugary foods.
Use an interproximal toothbrush if you have any dental appliances like braces.
Restrict your children from using fluoride mouth rinses.
How can you get rid of white spots on your teeth?
Learn the top strategies to get rid of white spots on teeth as soon as possible
While many people go to great lengths to whiten their teeth, white spots are something entirely different.
You can remove the white spots on your teeth as soon as possible by using common household ingredients.
Method 1: Baking Soda
Baking soda is used for various purposes, apart from cooking and baking. It comes in handy for cleaning purposes, such as removing kitchen and glassware stains. Apart from these, it is an alternative for cleaning your teeth as well. Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, which makes it a salt. All salts are naturally antimicrobial.
It supports a healthier pH level in the mouth. A lower pH level means a higher acidic environment, which enables the bacteria to thrive. Baking soda stalls the bacteria from multiplying and stops any further erosion of the enamel, while simultaneously remineralizing the teeth. (5)
Single-Step Treatment: Brush your teeth with a baking soda paste
Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda and enough water to make a thick paste.
Put some of the paste on your toothbrush and brush your teeth with it.
Use this remedy 3 or 4 times a week for best results. Do not do this every day.
Method 2: Oil Pulling
Coconut oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties. The plaque on your teeth is basically a layer of bacteria feeding on the food residue on your teeth. The oil fights and dislodges the bacteria. It is one of the powerful ways of removing plaque and keeping your mouth germ and odor-free. (6)
The lauric acid present in coconut oil acts as a bleaching agent that removes the white spots as soon as possible and reduces any gum inflammation. (7)
Single-Step Treatment: Swish coconut oil around in your mouth & spit it out
Put 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in your mouth.
Swish it around in your mouth for 10 minutes, as you do with mouthwash.
Spit it out. Do not swallow it.
Rinse your mouth with warm water.
Use this remedy 3 times a week.
Method 3: Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal is a highly absorbent material. It removes impurities that come in contact with the surface of the charcoal. Activated charcoal is basically charcoal that has been treated with a few gasses to make it into a porous material that sucks in impurities from the environment around it.
It does not irritate your gums and removes plaque effectively, which makes it easier for the saliva to penetrate your teeth and remineralize them.
Single-Step Treatment: Dip your toothbrush in activated charcoal & brush your teeth
Wet your toothbrush and dip it in the activated charcoal.
Brush your teeth with the activated charcoal for 2 minutes.
Rinse your mouth with normal water.
Note: You can replace activated charcoal with ashes of burnt rosemary.
Baking soda contains sodium, which is antimicrobial in nature. (8)
Things you’ll need:
3% hydrogen peroxide – 1 tablespoon
Baking soda – 1 tablespoon
Single-Step Treatment: Brush your teeth with hydrogen peroxide & baking soda solution
Mix enough of 3% hydrogen peroxide with baking soda in a bowl to make a thick paste.
Brush your teeth with the solution for 2 to 3 minutes.
Spit it out and rinse your mouth with normal water.
Use this remedy 1 to 3 times a week.
Method 5: Banana Peel
Bananas are rich in potassium, manganese, and magnesium, which bleaches the teeth by deeply penetrating the enamel coating. The inside of the banana peel also has phosphorous content, which helps reduce the debris buildup and plaque formation on your teeth. (9)
Single-Step Treatment: Rub a banana peel on your teeth
Peel a banana, preferably from the bottom upward. By doing this, you don’t have to pick as many stringy things off the peel.
Rub the inside of a single peel on your teeth for 2 minutes.
Wait 15 minutes, then brush your teeth as you would regularly do.
Do this twice a week.
Method 6: Green Tea
Polyphenols found in green tea, work as antimicrobials inhibiting the growth of pathogenic bacteria and viruses in the mouth. Additionally, green tea is a great source of fluoride and helps remineralize your teeth by fighting off inflammation and infection-causing bacteria. This is a safe and non-abrasive method to reverse the formation of cavities and remove white spots from the teeth. (10)
Single-Step Treatment: Swish warm green tea extract around in your mouth
Brew 1 green tea bag in a cup of warm water for 5 minutes, so that the green tea extracts get infused into the water.
Take the tea bag, which should now have turned green, out of the water.
Swish some of the green tea around in your mouth for 1 minute.
Repeat the swish and spit process, until the entire cup of green tea is finished.
You can rinse your mouth with water afterward, but you can skip it if you want.
Use this remedy 2 or 3 times a day to get rid of the white spots as soon as possible on your teeth.
Method 7: Stay Hydrated
As mentioned earlier, saliva contains minerals that aid calcification of the teeth and it maintains the pH level of the mouth. Hence, the presence of saliva keeps bacteria and other infection-causing microbes at bay. (11)
For example, the mouth’s pH is a neutral 7.0. When we do not drink enough water, or we eat more acidic and sweetened foods, the pH level of the mouth rapidly dips to 5.0, which is a thriving ground for bacteria. These bacteria can metabolize on the ingested nutrients and produce acids, giving rise to plaque formation. Continuously reduced levels of pH promote cavity-causing bacteria.
Maintaining a good pH balance in the mouth promotes an equilibrium of the good and the bad bacteria. For a balanced pH level in your mouth, drink plenty of water and fresh fruit juices with no added sugar.
Method 8: Balanced Diet
Your daily diet & lifestyle choices have a significant impact on your oral health. Eat a balanced diet to ensure your nutritional needs are met & prevent/eliminate the formation of white spots on teeth. (12)
Trace minerals (i.e., iron, iodine, copper, manganese, selenium, chromium, zinc) assist in activating to certain enzymes that regulate everything from producing energy & boosting the immune system, to regulating bone formation & remodeling (including teeth). Trace minerals can be obtained from an assortment of foods including fish, bone broth, grass-fed butter, & vegetables. Make sure to incorporate a variety of these foods in your diet & consume on a daily basis
Avoid foods abundant in phytates or phytic acid, which is known to block trace minerals. Phytates are antioxidant composites that are found in beans, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds. They are thought to bind & block the absorption of minerals, thus contribute to the development of cavities & highly correlated with tooth decay
To reduce the physic acid present in some foods, soak or sprout them before cooking or eating.
Avoid sugary foods like donuts, soda, candy, cakes, pastries and sugar itself.
Replace sugar with raw honey, maple syrup or other natural sweeteners. A sugar replacement for your tea can be stevia and birch-derived xylitol.
Incorporate non-GMO (genetically modified organism) foods in your diet, such as green leafy vegetables, red or orange peppers (with skin), cucumber (with skin) and tomatoes (with skin).
75 to 80 percent of your diet should consist of alkaline-producing foods.
Tips to fade away white spots on teeth
Rinse your mouth with salt water twice a day to keep plaque at bay and prevent demineralization.
Make sure you go for regular dental check-ups.
Drink diluted apple cider vinegar every day to get rid of white spots as soon as possible. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties that can kill the plaque-causing bacteria.
You can nibble on margo leaves if you don’t mind the taste.
Gavrilovic I. White Spot Lesions in Orthodontic Patients: Formation, Prevention, and Treatment. Journal of Oral Hygiene & Health. https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/white-spot-lesions-in-orthodontic-patients-formation-prevention-and-treatment-2332-0702.1000154.php?aid=32315&view=mobile. Published August 5, 2014.
AlShehri A, Kwon SR. Etiology and Management Of White Spot Lesions. Decisions in Dentistry. http://decisionsindentistry.com/article/lesions-0116/. Published January 1, 2016.
Portelli M, Militi A, Cervino G. Oxidative Stress Evaluation in Patients Treated with Orthodontic Self-ligating Multibracket Appliances: An in Vivo Case-Control Study. The Open Dentistry Journal. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5543706/. Published June 30, 2017.
Lopatiene K, Borisovaite M, Lapenaite E. Prevention and Treatment of White Spot Lesions During and After Treatment with Fixed Orthodontic Appliances: a Systematic Literature Review. Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Research. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4970501/. Published June 30, 2016.
Myneni SR. Effect of baking soda in dentifrices on plaque removal. Plum X Metrix. https://jada.ada.org/article/S0002-8177(17)30809-7/fulltext. Published November 2017.
Singh A, Purohit B. Tooth brushing, oil pulling and tissue regeneration: A review of holistic approaches to oral health. Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3131773/. Published 2011.
Asokan S, Rathan J, Muthu MS, et al. Effect of oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans count in plaque and saliva using Dentocult SM Strip mutans test: a randomized, controlled, triple-blind study. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18408265. Published March 2008.
Silhacek KJ, Taake KR. Sodium bicarbonate and hydrogen peroxide: the effect on the growth of Streptococcus mutans. International Journal of Dental Hygiene. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16297309. Published 2005.
Abhay S, Dinnimath BM. Formulation and evaluation of new polyherbal toothpaste for oral care. Indian Journal of Health Sciences and Biomedical Research KLEU. http://www.ijournalhs.org/article.asp?issn=2349-5006;year=2015;volume=8;issue=1;spage=24;epage=27;aulast=Abhay. Published 2015.
Narotzki B, Reznick AZ, Aizenbud D, Levy Y. Green tea: a promising natural product in oral health. Archives of Oral Biology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22226360. Published May 2012.
4 Reasons Water Is the Best Beverage for Your Teeth. Mouth Healthy TM. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/nutrition/food-tips/water-best-beverage.
Ghosh A, K PS, Nagpal DB. Nutrition and Oral Health: A Review. Indian Journal of Applied Research. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283345547. Published November 2015.