When my daughter had her braces removed, they left behind some noticeable white spots on the surface of her teeth. When we addressed the problem with our dentist, he recommended Zoom whitening. But, this ended up making them look much worse than they were in the first place. Should we wait a little longer before we do another round of Zoom?
-Laurie in North Carolina
Sorry to hear that you are in this situation. Unfortunately, your dentist may not be very experienced in cosmetic dentistry. Because those white spots that were left behind after the braces were removed from your daughter’s teeth are decalcification. This occurs in most cases because the patient may not have been meticulous in cleaning around the brackets. The minerals of the tooth end up being stripped away in those areas, resulting in the white spots. Those portions of the tooth may be more susceptible to tooth decay.
Zoom whitening or really any kind of tooth whitening will not remedy what is happening here. As you have noticed, the whitening after the braces were removed only makes the spots more noticeable. There are products available from an orthodontist or possibly online that will help to re-mineralize the tooth. There are no guarantees with these products though, but you may be interested in giving them a try. Ask about Tooth Mousse or MI Paste. They claim to saturate the tooth with an abundance of minerals and the idea is that the tooth will re-absorb them.
Microabrasion is another option you may want to discuss with a dentist that is experienced in addressing decalcification. Ask to see examples of cases similar to your daughter. Not all dentists offer microabrasion because this can make the teeth appear creamy versus white. Another approach from a cosmetic dentistry perspective is to strengthen those de-mineralized areas with dental bonding. This would need to be administered sooner than later, before the decay progresses. Be sure you find an experienced cosmetic dentist, one that has treated similar cases. Or an experienced cosmetic dentist may also suggest porcelain veneers. That may be a bit much, but would definitely take care of the aesthetic concerns she’s facing.
Thank you for your question.
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