Concerned About White Spots on Your Child’s Teeth? | Pediatric Dentist in Elizabeth City NC

Have you noticed white spots on your child’s teeth? Various factors can lead to white spots or discoloration on teeth, including illnesses, infections, vitamin deficiencies, excessive fluoride, and trauma. While these spots are often harmless, they can make your child feel self-conscious. At Tidal Smiles Pediatric Dentistry of North Carolina, our pediatric dentist can examine and treat any white spots or discoloration on your child’s teeth to enhance their smile.

Causes of White Spots on Teeth

Demineralization or Decalcification

Demineralization, or decalcification, results from excessive and prolonged bacterial buildup in the mouth. The bacteria attack the enamel, causing it to deteriorate. When the enamel wears away, white or brown spots may appear on the teeth. This type of discoloration can lead to cavities, so your child’s pediatric dentist in Elizabeth City, NC, will need to check their teeth at each dental appointment.

Enamel that is demineralizing or decalcifying is typically monitored. Other than brushing and flossing more frequently, no treatment is required if there is no decay present. Children should brush their teeth twice a day and floss once a day to prevent excess bacteria buildup. If a cavity forms in the discolored area, restoring the tooth will be recommended.

Enamel Hypoplasia

Teeth can develop white or brown spots due to enamel hypoplasia. The symptoms usually appear in childhood but can also appear in adults. Factors contributing to this condition include inadequate nutrition, high fevers from illness, smoking during pregnancy, and premature birth. Some medications and trauma to the teeth can also cause enamel hypoplasia. Children with enamel hypoplasia are at an increased risk of decay in areas with white spots, so it is recommended to carefully watch those areas.

Treatment Options for Enamel Hypoplasia

Unless enamel hypoplasia is causing areas of tooth decay, it does not need to be treated. For children who are self-conscious about their appearance, teeth whitening, microabrasion (removing a thin layer of discolored enamel), and veneers (thin wafers bonded over the affected teeth) can help reduce the visibility of the spots.


Fluorosis is common in children and may still be visible in adulthood if left untreated. Fluorosis is caused by excessive fluoride exposure. While fluoride strengthens teeth, too much of it can cause white, brown, or yellow spots. This most commonly occurs when fluoride is ingested from fluoridated water, fluoride-containing vitamin supplements, and toothpaste.

Fluorosis Treatment

Treatment options for fluorosis are similar to those for enamel hypoplasia, including microabrasion, bleaching if the stains are yellow or brown, or having a porcelain veneer adhered to the surface of the tooth to hide the staining and discoloration.

Comprehensive Dental Care

Our pediatric dentist can examine your child’s teeth to determine the cause of tooth discoloration and recommend a treatment plan. Your child may only require a dental cleaning if their teeth are simply stained. In some situations, we may be able to improve the appearance of your child’s smile with teeth whitening, microabrasion, and, in some cases, porcelain veneers if they have fluorosis or enamel hypoplasia. If your child has decalcified areas on their tooth enamel, our pediatric dentist can suggest ways to improve their at-home oral hygiene routine and monitor the areas for signs of tooth decay.

At Tidal Smiles Pediatric Dentistry of North Carolina, we are committed to ensuring your child’s smile remains bright and healthy. If you have concerns about your child’s oral health, please contact our office to schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist in Elizabeth City, NC. Let us help your child achieve a healthy, confident smile.

Tidal Smiles Pediatric Dentistry of North Carolina
Phone: (252) 251-7900
1755 City Center Blvd.
Elizabeth City, NC 27909