When my daughter had her braces taken off, there were white spots on her teeth. We were looking for a quick way to fix them. Our dentist suggested teeth whitening and told us that Zoom would be the fastest. She didn’t have a Zoom machine but recommended to us someone she knew who did. We went ahead with it, but the spots didn’t go away. Her teeth are whiter, but still uneven. What went wrong?
Uneven tooth color, including white spots, are usually made worse by teeth whitening, which includes the fast-acting Zoom Whitening. So why did your dentist recommend it? The only real explanation is your dentist has a fundamental misunderstanding of how teeth whitening works.
This is one of the big issues with cosmetic dentistry not being a recognized specialty, but also not being taught in dental school. Teeth whitening will whiten your teeth, or in this case your daughter’s teeth, evenly. So, because her teeth were uneven in color before the whitening, they will be uneven after the whitening.
The Solution to White Spots After Braces
First, it helps to know the cause of these white spots to begin with. This is something your dentist should know about. The white spots are a sign of decalcification. Think of them as pre-cavities. It is pretty common after braces when a patient didn’t quite get everything brushed the way they needed to during their orthodontic treatment. To be fair, getting the area around all those wires and brackets clean is pretty tough. This is why we often recommend Invisalign to teens who are responsible enough to keep up with their aligners. Because they are removable, it is much easier for patients to brush and floss their teeth, making it much less likely they will develop white spots.
The best solution for this is to have the white spots carefully ground off and then replaced with composite tooth bonding. However, don’t let your dentist talk you into letting her try this herself. It is a much more advanced procedure than teeth whitening and she was clueless about that. Whoever you are considering to do it, ask to see before and after pictures of bonding cases they have done so you can make sure you love their results before letting them work on your daughter’s case.
This blog is brought to you by Decatur, AL Dentists Drs. Drake and Wallace.