What are craze lines and do they weaken teeth?
For some time now, craze lines have been of interest to dentists and their patients, but exactly what are they? How do they form? And do they weaken teeth? Today, we’ll learn everything you need to know about these not-so-familiar-features of your teeth and how to keep them from weakening your pearly whites.
What are craze lines?
Craze lines on your teeth may be a dental concern. These fine cracks form in tooth enamel when excessive fluoride is applied to it for long periods of time. Craze lines often appear on a tooth’s surface after people are treated with fluoride varnish, which is an adhesive material that contains fluoride, or when their dentist places small white dots over spots where cavities may develop. Craze lines do not require treatment, but if you have dark-colored plaque build-up, you may want to consult your dentist to have them removed. They may stain easily once they appear in noticeable amounts and can prevent you from achieving a healthier smile without proper care. Make sure to schedule regular appointments with your dental office to maintain good oral health habits!
How might it affect your smile?
Craze lines—those tiny hairline cracks that sometimes form on a tooth’s surface—can actually weaken your smile. They can lead to cracks in your enamel, which can cause cavities and other problems over time. But there’s no need to panic: These imperfections typically show up on older adult teeth, after decades of wear and tear or damage from biting or grinding. You can prevent them by making sure you take good care of your smile—and remember, if you have any questions about how best to handle yours, it’s always a good idea to ask a professional!
Craze lines can be a telltale sign of tooth decay. When bacteria attack a tooth, they release acid that corrodes tooth enamel, leaving marks (known as dental caries) on your teeth. While fillings and restorations can often fix problem areas, but small cracks in your enamel—or craze lines—are also an indication of weak spots in your teeth. Craze lines often begin as tiny hairline fractures in a child’s first few baby molars, but these little cracks eventually grow into larger, more noticeable ones if left untreated. So how do you know if you have craze lines on your teeth?
Prevention – Taking care of your teeth
Prevention is key when it comes to keeping your teeth healthy. It’s impossible to completely prevent tooth decay, but there are many things you can do that will significantly reduce your risk of developing a cavity: Brushing and flossing at least twice a day; limiting snacking between meals; cutting back on sugary drinks like soda, sweet tea, and juice; avoiding tobacco products (including smokeless tobacco); making sure to visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Your mouth may still decay—no one is immune—but taking care of yourself can significantly reduce your risk.
The final word on craze lines
There’s no denying that craze lines teeth look bad, but do they weaken a tooth or prevent it from holding a filling? In short, no. (Here’s why.) The enamel on each tooth has been designed to support all kinds of forces without cracking. If you think about it, your teeth have to withstand everything from brushing, flossing, eating hard foods like apples or carrots and even chewing gum. No matter how much you stress a tooth by gnawing on an apple or even opening your mouth really wide to show off just how white your fillings can be … at least for now … there will be no bending of your enamel no matter what technique you use.