White Marks on Teeth | Here’s how to remove them

Here at Smileworks we’re all about healthy, beautiful smiles.  And for some discoloured areas of enamel can cause you to feel self-conscious.  Luckily this is a common problem and one you can easily remedy.  White spots, white patches or a mottled white appearance of teeth is extremely common and many patients have lived with it for years.  Some notice it following braces treatment and for some it’s always been there.  White spots are very simple to remove and the treatment is a straight forward and inexpensive way of improving your smile.  To learn about dental hygiene during braces treatment take a look at our main page here: Braces Liverpool. And to see our range of whitening procedures follow the link here: Professional teeth Whitening.

How to get rid of white marks

Your dentist will use a treatment called Icon white spot treatment that will completely eliminate patches or marks on the tooth surface.  There is no drilling or needles and the treatment is painless and effective in a very high percentage of cases.  Here’s a video explaining how the treatment works.

Many people think that the white frosty appearance of the teeth is stains and will seek whitening treatment.  However, whitening doesn’t work because no matter how white the teeth get, the white patches will always be whiter and visible.  Up until recently the only way to fix this problem was with veneers or composite bonding.  This is a much more expensive and invasive treatment and many believed that veneers for white spots was overkill.  To see our range of dental veneers and composite restorations take a look here: Veneers.

Why do I have white marks on my teeth?

White spots are very common and are not actually ‘staining’ so will not be removed by whitening procedures.  In fact, whitening your teeth can sometimes make the patches more noticeable so patients choose Icon treatment following their whitening.  If you have gone to the salon for your teeth whitening then there may be white spots or patches on the teeth due to dehydration.  This is slightly different and is one of the many risks associated with backstreet and Facebook-based whitening companies.  For more on illegal whitening you can download our report here:  Illegal whitening.

Here are the main causes of white spots:


Some people will experience trauma to the teeth as a child and this can cause marks in adult life.  Also the way the teeth erupt and meet can cause trauma that will produce the mottled appearance that patients are unhappy with.


When plaque builds up on the teeth from poor dental hygiene, this can cause acid to leech the minerals from the enamel and cause white spots.  Not all white spots are caused by poor dental hygiene though, this is just one of the causes.  When you have fixed braces that cannot be removed, often it’s more difficult to maintain high standards of oral hygiene.  This can lead to the formation of white patches when the braces come off.  Here at Smileworks your dental nurses, therapists, dentists and orthodontist will help you with advice for cleaning in and around your brackets to minimise the chances of getting white patches while in treatment.

white spots on teeth


This is caused from a very high fluoride intake while the teeth are developing.  Sometimes there can be high levels of fluoride in water naturally, children can eat toothpaste and parents can over treat their children with fluoride drops or supplements.  Like many things, not enough fluoride is damaging but too much is also hazardous.  Parents and adults are advised to consult a dentist, dental hygiene therapist or dental nurse about how much fluoride is required for the healthy development of their children’s’ teeth.  Fluorosis can lead to icy or frosty patches, white marks or even brown or yellow discolouration of the teeth.


Enamel Hypoplasia & Enamel Defects

This is caused by not getting enough nutrients from your diet.  Not only nutritional deficiencies but also some medicines, a high fever, premature birth and smoking during pregnancy.  Areas prone to tooth decay have fewer minerals as the plaque acid leeches minerals from the enamel.  The result looks similar to Flourosis but might be yellow bands across the teeth.

Enamel defects (such as molar-incisal hypoplasia) and others can occur when there’s disruption to the development process of your teeth as a child.   Sometimes erupting adult teeth can bump into baby teeth and cause white patches.  There are also many other reasons for enamel defects.

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Other treatments for white marks

As previously discussed, whitening sometimes works to remove certain types of tetracycline banding and medicine induced fluorosis.  Also veneers or composite veneers can be used, although we would be reticent to treat patients with suck an expensive and invasive treatment before exploring all of the alternatives.  Microbrasion is carefully removing the affected enamel.  This is another treatment that would not be recommended before trying everything else.  This is because it damages the teeth and would increase the risk that you would lose them in later life.  The best and first option will be Icon treatment.  This is a simple and cost effective way of removing the discolouration and you will find out that treating this common problem is actually much more straight-forward than you might have though. Dental hygiene therapist at Smileworks can offer patients Airflow polishing at their hygiene appointments this an be effective in certain cases.

Icon Before and After

White Patches on teeth before and after

Icon white spot removal cost

DMG Icon is an extremely cost-effective treatment.  Especially compared with options like veneers!  At Smileworks this treatment costs just £150 per tooth.  Here’s some short videos showing what it’s like at our practice and what some of our patients think of our work.


To make an appointment to see a dentist or dental hygiene therapist just fill in the form in the footer of this page or call the office on 0151 236 5166 to speak to a member of the team.