I’m writing for some clarifying advice, I hope. I am pretty sure I will need to find a new dentist, but could use a more educated opinion.
My youngest daughter has pretty bad staining on her teeth, from fluorosis. Her bottom teeth in the front are really yellow (they are permanent teeth), and her top teeth are blotchy and in some cases almost jagged on the side (those are still baby teeth, though).
She wears braces right now, to try and fix issues related to a long thumb-sucking habit. We put braces on before her 12-year molars came in to try and give her some more confidence in her smile sooner. She is REALLY self-conscious about her teeth, but I think now the discolorations and staining bother her more than the overbite. She is very shy.
Henri from Augusta
It is hard when your child suffers from confidence issues, and hopefully you can get connected with a skilled and experienced cosmetic dentist who understands the psychology behind appearance as well and the best techniques to enhance her smile.
If her staining is indeed severe, then the teeth must eventually be covered with porcelain veneers. Fluorosis is caused when the teeth are forming, by over-consumption of fluoride. This is sometimes caused by drinking water from public or private wells that has a naturally high level of fluoride over the course of several years when the teeth are developing. It can also be caused by a child repeatedly swallowing too much fluoridated toothpaste. Just as a note, your family dentist should reiterate each time you visit that a pea-sized amount of toothpaste is appropriate, and that you should make sure your child spits it out rather than swallowing.
It is important that you are confident your dentist knows the source of the staining before treatment. If your daughter’s bottom teeth are a uniform yellow (no blotchiness), it may not be from fluorosis, and a simple teeth whitening treatment may be sufficient. If the fluorosis staining is mild, it is possible that a skilled cosmetic dentist could cover the spots with dental bonding.
The key theme here is “skilled experienced cosmetic dentist”. Any dentist can say they do cosmetic work. But you want someone who can prove their skills with before and after pictures and evidence of accreditation and coursework. If you choose your dentist well, they will do a good job choosing the best treatment option for your daughter.
This blog post is a courtesy of the dental office of Dr. Perry, Baton Rouge dentist.