Discoloured teeth. I bet you’re picturing yellow teeth or teeth stained deep brown at the roots. But discolouration can also be bright white. This may sound great – who doesn’t want whiter teeth? It’s true; a whiter smile is what everyone wants to achieve. But having pearly white stains dotted around your teeth can make the rest of them look yellow.
Dental fluorosis often causes white stains along the teeth. This common, harmless disorder usually begins during childhood (predominately the first eight years of an individual’s life) while the tooth enamel forms. Once you lose your baby teeth and the adult teeth come through, that’s when you will notice you have fluorosis.
Fluorosis stains are only superficial. With this in mind, there are no major concerns from a dentist’s point of view. But we understand how these stains may make you feel insecure when smiling. Teeth unaffected by fluorosis are often a pale, creamy white. While teeth with this condition will have pearly white spots. This makes the surrounding surfaces look yellow in comparison.
Before, the only way to treat fluorosed teeth was with abrasive treatments. But, at The Bristol Dental Practice, we now offer a better solution: ICON teeth whitening. ICON is a revolutionary cosmetic dentistry treatment that can cover white stains without damaging the tooth’s surface.
What Causes Dental Fluorosis?
Dental fluorosis is a cosmetic condition caused by overexposure to fluoride while the adult teeth develop. The only time you are at risk of this condition is from the ages of thirteen months to eight years old, as this is when our adult teeth begin to form.
Diagnosing dental fluorosis is simple due to its visible nature. You will often see pearly white stains speckled along the teeth, but sometimes these stains can be yellow or dark brown.
Fluorosis can also cause mottled teeth and enamel corrosion. Your teeth may appear flat and opaque. In addition, your teeth may have a rough texture and noticeable pits.
Should You Be Concerned?
No, there’s no need to worry about dental fluorosis. It isn’t a disease but a cosmetic condition.
The Bristol Dental Practice believes that every smile is beautifully unique. Unless there’s a serious dental concern, there’s no need to change your smile unless you want to. We will only address this condition if our patient desires cosmetic treatment for it. If you feel insecure due to fluorosis, we will do our very best to remedy it, but there’s no need for any treatment so long as the fluorosis is not severe.
Teeth with mild fluorosis are actually more resistant to decay due to the higher fluoride levels within the enamel surface. But, teeth with severe fluorosis should be carefully monitored due to enamel corrosion.
Preventing Dental Fluorosis
Dental fluorosis is only a risk while your teeth are developing. If you already have signs of fluorosis, it’s too late, though it’s still best to reduce the amount of fluoride you’re exposed to so it doesn’t get any worse.
In the case you’re a parent, you may wonder how to prevent your child from developing fluorosis. If you already have fluorosis, this advice is also for you. There are a couple of ways you can do this.
First, check for high levels of fluoride minerals in foods and drinks. Highly-processed foods tend to contain excess fluoride; so do some fruit juices and soft drinks.
You should also watch out for specific toothpaste and mouthwash that has added fluoride.
Can Dental Fluorosis Be Fixed?
Yes – you may be happy to hear that dental fluorosis is treatable with cosmetic dentistry, and we can fix it using minimally invasive techniques.
Teeth whitening and bleaching may seem like the obvious choice, but this can worsen the appearance of fluorosis. The aim is to reduce the contrast between the stains and the natural tooth. Yet, bleaching lightens the white stains, making them stand out even more.
The Bristol Dental Practice offers a range of traditional and non-invasive treatment options to eliminate those pesky white stains. Each treatment has its own benefits and disadvantages that will be discussed below.
Veneers are bespoke shells that cover the tooth’s surface like a veil, whereas crowns are artificial caps which fit over the tooth. Both of these procedures are irreversible, as the outer enamel must be shaved down to apply them.
Before, this was the only way to fix fluorosis, but we’ve now developed less abrasive methods that won’t harm the tooth’s outer surface. These methods include composite bonding and ICON teeth whitening.
Our dentists may still recommend veneers or crowns for severe cases of this condition that have seriously affected the tooth. This includes cases of heavy brown staining and a rough/pitted tooth surface.
Bioclear composite is an innovative treatment that improves the overall appearance of your teeth.
Clear, thin shells filled with composite material cover the teeth during the procedure. The composite hardens beneath UV light before the shells are removed. This covers any discolouration, chips or cracks, improving the tooth’s aesthetics.
This procedure is more conservative than veneers or crowns. Though, those methods are more durable and will give you longer-lasting results.
The beauty of Bioclear composite bonding is that there’s no need to shave down the tooth. It is a less invasive and reversible procedure that’s great for covering fluorosis and other cosmetic concerns.
ICON Teeth Whitening
As mentioned before, most teeth whitening treatments can worsen the appearance of fluorosis. That’s why we’re proud to offer ICON teeth whitening, which only targets the white marks themselves to create a naturally uniform smile that you can be proud of.
ICON Teeth whitening is a revolutionary treatment when it comes to fluorosis. It’s gentle, pain-free and quick, and it can last many years before the need for a top-up.
Acids draw the minerals away from the tooth enamel, forming white stains. These acids leave behind a porous structure in which air becomes trapped. ICON infiltrates and fills in these areas of trapped air, restoring the appearance of your enamel.
ICON teeth whitening is not intended to give an overall whitening effect to the teeth. It only targets the white discolouration caused by fluorosis. Other conditions can also cause this type of discolouration, including:
- Enamel Hypoplasia
- Poor Oral Hygiene
- Other health conditions, such as Coeliac Disease.
If you do decide to get your teeth whitened after this procedure, the stains treated with ICON will whiten just like natural enamel.
ICON teeth whitening is the most gentle and innovative treatment for dental fluorosis. But, if you wish to give your smile even more of a makeover, then Bioclear composite may be the better solution.
Cosmetic Dentistry At The Bristol Dental Practice
The Bristol Dental Practice offers a wide range of teeth whitening services. Contact us here to find out more.