My daughter just had her braces removed and she had some uneven color on her two front teeth that our dentist said was from fluoride in vitamins she took as a child. He said the way to even the “cloudy” color was to bleach her teeth which he did in his office with Zoom whitening teeth bleaching. A day after the teeth bleaching the bright white color is blotchy on all her teeth and the problem area on the two front teeth is not significantly improved—the dentist says wait a few days after the teeth bleaching and the color will even out. I am skeptical but trying to trust him since he has been our dentist for many years and has always done excellent work. Is this uneven looking color normal immediately after teeth bleaching and should it even out after a few days? Also, should the teeth bleaching significantly improve the original problem of the “cloudy” appearance?
—Barbara in New Jersey
I hear many stories similar to yours. It sounds like you have a wonderful, trustworthy, skilled dentist, and I’m sure he’s all of those things. But he’s not a cosmetic dentist.
Bleaching is not the correct treatment for uneven color in the teeth. It’s a natural mistake. We know that bleaching a garment will remove the spots. But that’s a different process from tooth bleaching, which will whiten the natural pigment of a tooth and also the spots, leaving the color discrepancy.
My advice is to stick with your dentist. If you have a trusting relationship, that’s hard to replace. But if you want the cloudy spots on your daughter’s front teeth treated, for that you should consult a real cosmetic dentist. Dental bonding is the answer for any splotches or spots in the teeth. And the spotting you are seeing is probably not from fluoride, but is decalcification that can be caused by braces. You describe it as a cloudy appearance. With braces, often plaque will be attracted to the area around the brackets and sit there for long periods of time. That will decalcify the tooth in that spot. You can tell by the pattern of the spots if they seem to be around where the brackets used to be. And if that is the case, that enamel has been weakened anyway and some dental bonding will reinforce it. But the dentist needs a significant amount of artistic ability to do this, so be sure you go to an excellent cosmetic dentist.
Then go back to your long-time family dentist for your basic dental work.