White spots on teeth are caused by several factors, including fluorosis and demineralization. White spots may be seen from the time the tooth erupts into the mouth or may become apparent after orthodontic bracket removal.
Fluorosis is caused by too much fluoride being deposited on the teeth during development. The teeth erupt with white or even brown spots on their surfaces. Demineralization of tooth structure may be caused by bacteria, nutritional deficits, and some medications taken while teeth are developing.
Everyone’s mouth is full of bacteria! Most are harmless, but the cavity-causing bacteria love to grow in highly acidic environments created after eating food. This makes brushing after meals very important. Braces and dental appliances make brushing in those hard-to-reach areas difficult. As bacteria accumulate around the glued brackets and prosthetics, demineralization occurs and white spots form.
White spots can also form as a result of nutritional deficits. If you’re not getting enough of the minerals which strengthen enamel, your teeth can weaken and white spots can result. People who have celiac disease and can’t eat gluten often get white spots because they have issues absorbing minerals through digestion.
Some medications, particularly antibiotics, cause white spots to form in areas of enamel development. This is especially common in children and pregnant women because as teeth are developing in the baby/child, any interruption in the process may harm proper enamel production.