What are white spot lesions on teeth? Do they need immediate treatment?

posted in: General Dentistry | 0

You have reached the blog to know more about white dots on teeth surfaces. Perhaps, you are unsure if you should ignore them or seek treatment as they do not cause discomfort. These are white spot lesions (WSLs).

As a reputed dental care treatment clinic in Roswell(GA), TruCare helps several patients with WSLs each month. We wish to clear all the doubts about the condition highlighted by patients. Let’s get on track with basics first.

What are white spot lesions?

As the name suggests, white spot lesions are white spots on the tooth surface. These dots appear opaque, cloudy discoloration that does not go away despite brushing. Besides white, lesions can be orange or yellow in some cases.

Individuals with high fluorosis index, high-caries index, or patients undergoing orthodontic treatment are prone to the condition. Even dental trauma can result in white spot lesions.

Two types

White spot lesions are carious or non-carious. Carious ones are associated with dental devices. They often appear under thick plaque-covered tooth surfaces nearby orthodontic brackets.

Non-carious white spot lesions, also known as fluorosis, are formed due to environmental or genetic reasons. In most cases, they affect the anterior teeth, but every tooth is prone to the same.

The role of orthodontic devices

Wires, bands, and brackets for certain orthodontic appliances create areas that become difficult to clean. These corners become a den for debris. Harmful bacteria and plaque accumulation in these parts trigger the formation of white spot lesions. If left untreated, they turn more dangerous, cavitated caries lesions.


The tooth surface may seem intact as demineralization happens below the enamel. On dry surfaces, WSLs appear white, chalky, opaque. They appear translucent on wet surfaces.

Your dentist will closely examine white spots to diagnose the type and severity. In addition, the clinic might seek details on your medical history. Another factor that dentists consider during diagnosis is your fluoride intake since childhood.

Treatment options

1. In-office fluoride varnish or gels

Besides treating WSL, this treatment option actually helps prevent their formation during early stages. Dentists apply fluoride varnish or gel around braces brackets. The alternative is best suitable for individuals with dental caries. In some post orthodontic WSL cases, even the use of fluoride toothpaste can reverse white spots.

2. Custom trays with a special gel

Your dental care expert will take digital x-rays and create custom trays for your mouth. You have to wear them for a few weeks. Later, they are filled with a special gel or paste to speed-up remineralization.

3. Increasing salivary flow in the mouth

Apart from asking you to drink more water, your dental professional might prescribe antibiotics that help in stimulating saliva production. It works in treating and controlling white spot lesions during the early stages.

4. ICON treatment

Dentists recommend the ICON resin infiltration procedure if the above three fail to show results. Yes, you guessed it right; the option is minimally invasive.

The ICON kit consists of three syringes designed for Etch, Dry, and Infiltrant applicators.

Your dental surgeon will apply a rubber shield to cover gums and other areas of the mouth. Then, the professional will rinse and clean your teeth with water.

As the first step in treatment, your dentist will apply ICON-Etch on teeth surfaces and spread it equally. After two minutes, they will remove the gel with water and air dry.

Next comes the stage of applying ICON Dry on teeth surfaces. The alcohol solution is applied with a syringe and kept in place for 30 seconds. Post that, dentists carry out a quick visual inspection of all the teeth to check if there’s a need for another layer of ICON Etch. Steps one and two are repeated until lesions appear camouflaged.

The third step is applying ICON-Infiltrant on the affected teeth for three minutes. A string of floss is used to ensure the solution does not stick between the teeth. Then, a special LED light is focused on the teeth for roughly 40 seconds.

Step three is repeated after replacing the ICON Infiltrant applicator tip on the syringe. That’s it; the last stage is reviewing and polishing the teeth with resin if required.

ICON resin infiltration is most recommended as it has an impressive success rate. Overall, the procedure requires between 30 to 60 minutes. No worries. Your oral care specialist will give you a clear idea about the timeframe for the treatment during consultation.

Don’t ignore white spot lesions on molars

White spot lesions indicate possible acid accumulation, poor oral hygiene, plaque formation, or demineralization. Whether it’s on front teeth or molars, the condition deserves attention. Unfortunately, some patients often ignore spots on molars as it does not impact the smile immediately. But, this leads to more trouble in the form of dental caries.

Do WSLs disappear on their own?

Some non-carious WSLs do fade with time. But, the waiting period can be between a few months to even decades. Therefore, most dentists recommend the wait and watch approach only for children who have just had their braces removed.

Should patients opt for white spot lesions treatment immediately after removal of braces or brackets?

Patients must wait for a minimum of three months after completing orthodontic treatment. The time frame is crucial for ensuring teeth get enough time to recover.

What measures do orthodontists take to avoid the formation of white spot lesions?

Maintaining oral hygiene and visiting a dental clinic for scheduled cleaning sessions is crucial for individuals who wear braces.

After assessing risk factors, dentists recommend the following products to patients while undergoing orthodontic treatment:

  • Toothpaste with a higher concentration of fluoride
  • Fluoride mouth rinses
  • Xylitol gum and mints
  • CPP-ACP (casein phosphopeptides-amorphous calcium phosphate) products
  • Chlorhexidine rinses
  • Eating food items with more fermentable carbohydrates
  • Drinking a sufficient amount of milk daily


You undoubtedly understand how the surface of teeth may face prolonged exposure to plaque due to inadequate cleaning around those brackets.

Did you recently notice white spots on your teeth? You certainly don’t want these dots to ruin your smile, do you? So please don’t ignore them. Instead, visit TruCare Dentistry, Roswell (GA). Our team will offer the best suitable treatment for WSLs, and ensure the results are aesthetically convincing.