Are yellow or discolored teeth affecting your teen's self-esteem? If so, there are some cosmetic procedures that can help solve the issue. The following information can help you and your teen make an informed choice, which will allow you to see your teen's smile again.
Option #1: Whitening
Whitening is the least invasive option but it is not suitable for all tooth stains. Whitening only works on surface stains, not on those that are a permanent part of the enamel or dentin. A major benefit of whitening is that it can be performed on most teens, even if they haven't yet grown in all of their adult teeth or if they are still undergoing orthodontic work.
Whitening is best done at the dentist office. This way the strength of the whitening solution and its application can be carefully controlled under the watchful eye of the dentist. Depending on the severity of the discoloration, your teen's dentist may also provide whitening trays and solution for home use. Minor discoloration is typically handled in office as part of their normal six-month cleaning.
You can extend the time between whitening procedures by educating your teen on dental care. Discoloration is often a result of diet. Dark beverages, like soda, tea, and coffee, are the most common causes of discoloration in teens. This is also a good time to caution against tobacco use since this leads to yellow teeth.
Option #2: Veneers
Veneers are really the only option if there is permanent staining on your teen's teeth. Common causes of permanent staining include exposure to excessive fluoride as a child, antibiotic exposure in the womb, or thin enamel that allows the yellow dentin to show through.
Unfortunately, not all teen's are candidates for veneers. If the adult teeth are not all in, your dentist may advise against veneers since these teeth may eventually change the profile of the rest. Veneers are also not an option if your teen is undergoing orthodontic work. In both of these cases, you will have to wait before correcting discoloration.
This is because veneers are permanent, so all other dental work must first be completed. The dentist removes part of the enamel then replaces it with the porcelain veneer, which looks like the real tooth. Once in place, no special care is needed – your teen brushes and flosses as usual.
For more help, contact a cosmetic dentist or office like Pike Dentistry in your area.