Tag Archives: braces

How to fix white spots after daughter’s braces were removed?

My daughter has been counting the days until her braces came off. For her 16th birthday, she wanted nothing more than to have them removed. We did it! But the excitement was short-lived when she had these ugly white spots left on her teeth. The orthodontist didn’t say much, so when we took her into our regular dentist he recommended getting Zoom whitening done. So we did. Big mistake! The white spots look worse. He told us the color would even out but nothing has happened since the whitening was done. Do we really have to wait? Or should we try another form of tooth whitening?

– Pam in Maryland


When white spots appear after braces are removed, it is not a teeth whitening issue. This is actually decalcification that occurs since it is very difficult to clean around the braces. If extra care is given to the hygiene, then the minerals in the tooth are stripped off. Cosmetically, this appears as white spots on the tooth. It’s not decay, which many individuals actually assume. It is from the lack of minerals that leaves the teeth more succeptible.

Unfortunately, the orthodontist should have addressed this issue. Also, it doesn’t sound like your general dentist does much cosmetic dentistry. He should have known this wouldn’t fix the problem.

Zoom whitening will do the opposite, as you found out the hard way. The spots stand out more! There are some oral health products on the market designed to re-mineralize the teeth. But there really are no guarantees with going that route. But if you are interested in giving them a try, look up Tooth Mousse or MI Paste online. They claim that the high mineral content in the product will help strengthen and re-absorb the minerals.

Another treatment that may work for your daughter is called microabrasion. If you explore this option, be sure the dentist has had success with this treatment. Ask to see cases similar to yours and ask if he has ever had any cases that turned out creamy versus white after treatment. Since these spots will eventually be decayed areas, it may be beneficial to have them removed. That is the thought process behind this option. Then dental bonding is added to protect and strengthen the teeth. This will also eliminate the appearance-related issues your daughter is troubled with. Bonding will require periodic touch-ups.

Thanks for your question. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Can dental implants be used to replace baby teeth?

I am almost an adult, well 16 years old now and I still have two baby teeth. They are my canines located on top. When I had to get my other two canines extracted last year on the bottom, I was mortified. It turns out one of the permanent teeth was coming in behind it so the gap wasn’t too bad, but the other was in a different location.

Now I’m being told the top two need to come out and I don’t want to have big gaps in my smile. I feel like the top teeth are much more visible when I smile and I can’t imagine being toothless going into my junior year. Do you think dental implants are an option for me?

-Layla in Illinois


The biggest question here is do you see a dentist on a regular basis? This situation should have been monitored and a trained dentist should know how to tackle this issue because it actually is not uncommon.

The right answer in your cases is dependent on an x-ray of your jaw. If you are 16 years old now and your permanent teeth have not surfaced, they are likely impacted. Basically, the baby teeth are not aware of the permanent teeth. The x-ray will show precisely where they are located and how they are impacted. Their location is what will dictate the next steps. If they are in front or behind the other permanent teeth will make a big difference.

You may want to see an orthodontist at this point and they will know how aide them in proper eruption. Since you are 16 now, there is a good chance the permanent teeth are blocked. The treatment plan may involve cutting a surgical opening in the soft tissue. Sometimes that is all that’s needed. Otherwise, brackets can then be used to expose the tooth and help it to surface using braces. If there isn’t enough area for the eruption to take place, then there may be additional extractions required and once they have erupted the alignment can be straightened as needed.

Dental implants aren’t really the ideal treatment plan for this type of situation. They are only used if there is no permanent teeth below the surface.

Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Can I just get dental implants instead of braces?

I have some crowding on one side of my mouth and the last thing I want to do is be a brace face. I saw a Clear Choice commercial and I was wondering if I can just get my teeth pulled and replaced with dental implants?

– Darrel in New Jersey


Although Clear Choice Dental Implant Centers may look appealing in their commercial, please think this plan through before taking any action.

Based on what you have described, it doesn’t really sound like you are dental implant candidate. There may be some alternative treatments that will work better for you. Most reputable dentists will do absolutely everything possible to preserve healthy tooth structure. So, having crooked teeth extracted because you don’t like braces doesn’t sound like a logical decision.

Although dental implants are a permanent solution to missing teeth, the process is quite invasive and the procedure is highly complex. It is difficult to say what other options are best for you without having that much information about your specific case, but you need to meet with a reputable implant dentist in addition to Clear Choice if you decide to get a consultation from them.

It is possible you may be able to get crowns, have only a tooth or two removed and have a successful bridge, or possibly a partial denture? Or maybe you it would be best to incorporate dental implants into your treatment plan. But please don’t pull healthy teeth. Once they are gone, there is not getting them back.

If crowding is the main issue here, it is possible Invisalign may work for you. Don’t make any rash decisions based on some bias about orthodontics. You need to make the best decision for your long-term oral health. It’s time to see a respected implant dentist and go from there.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Will I get my braces with the first appointment?

I have an appointment for braces, but will I get them on the first appointment? I have already had x-rays done with my orthodontist and I am wondering what the first appointment will entitle. I am also having jaw surgery to help correct my bite.

Thanks, Katie

Dear Katie,

Usually your first appointment after your initial evaluation with your orthodontist consists of dental impressions, photos of your teeth, and the placement of rubber bands. Dental impressions are taken and a mold of your teeth is made so the orthodontist can correctly know which direction your teeth need to shift for proper alignment. Photos of your teeth and face are usually taken too. Rubber bands are usually placed in front and behind your molars to make room for the metal bands that will go on the teeth that hold the wires. Usually this is all that is done on the first visit. Your orthodontist will have you come back to place the braces on once the rubber bands have made enough room for the mental bands.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland Implant Dentist Hylan Dental Care