Reverse Decalcified White Spots

Last week we discussed how prolonged contact with acidic bacterial plaque can lead to decalcification, or demineralization, of teeth. Decalcification is one of the reasons for white spots (lesions) on teeth.

Fortunately, decalcification can be reversed. If you have white, decalcified spots on your teeth, the following are some steps you can take to reverse this condition:

• Follow proper homecare. Bacterial plaque and food debris must be removed from all tooth surfaces and the tongue at least twice a day. This can be accomplished with thorough brushing and flossing.
• Make sure your mouth is neutralized after eating and drinking. You can swish with a baking soda rinse after eating or drinking, or chew a Xylitol-containing mint or gum. Baking soda is a natural neutralizer and Xylitol is a natural sweetener that has a neutralizing effect on the bacteria in our mouths.
• Avoid grazing on foods and sipping drinks (other than water) throughout the day.
• If recommended by the hygienist or doctor, use a calcium and phosphate cream, such as MI Paste. This paste is applied to your teeth throughout the day, especially after eating and drinking. MI Paste also contains Xylitol.
• If recommended for your situation, use Clinpro 5000. This prescription-strength fluoride toothpaste contains calcium phosphate. Fluoride hardens teeth and forms a protective layer over the calcium and phosphate. This higher level of protection is needed to help restore weakened or decalcified lesions. It also helps prevent these lesions from going to the next stage and becoming dental cavities.