Can a pediatric dentist whiten my daughter’s teeth?

Our pediatric dentist put sealants on all of my daughter’s molar teeth, upper and lower. She has an ongoing problem with cavities and her teeth are yellow. Her plaque buildup is unusual. At least I think it is unusual because we don’t along her to drink soda and we really limit her sugar intake to once every other weekend. Her teeth are just plain yellow. I am not sure if this is genetic because my husband was an only child and his parents were deceased when he was 2 years old. My daughter is entering her pre-teens and we want her to have teeth that look any shade of white. They are just plain yellow. I haven’t seen any improvement with dental cleanings either. Is there a way to find a pediatric dentist who can get her teeth white? Brandi

Bradi – Dental plaque builds on teeth that are not flossed regularly. Plaque is colorless, but as it hardens, it forms tartar or calculus that is yellow or brown. You haven’t described plaque buildup, so it might be that your daughter’s teeth are getting darker internally.

Causes of Yellow Teeth in Children

  • Genetics – Some genetic conditions can cause the inner layer of the teeth, or dentin, to become yellow. Genetic conditions can cause tooth enamel to become thin or discolored.
  • Vitamins and medication – The staining can also be cause by certain vitamins, supplements, or medication.
  • Medical conditions – Certain diseases can affect tooth enamel and cause discoloration.
  • Food and drink – Dark foods and drinks like coffee, tea, soda, and certain fruits can stain teeth.

We recommend that you ensure your daughter is flossing between her teeth daily and brushing twice a day. Speak with your daughter’s pediatric dentist. Dentists are trained to detect the cause of teeth stains or discoloring. If necessary, a dentist can work with a pediatrician to determine if there is a medical cause of the tooth discoloration.

An accredited cosmetic dentist who enjoys treating children will examine your daughter’s teeth and give you suggestions on how to make them whiter.

This post is sponsored by Bedminster, NJ dentist Dr. Allyson Hurley.

I think I’m allergic to my dentures

My dentures have bothered me since I got them this February. I am almost sure that I am allergic to the acrylic. My dentist keeps making excuses or coming up with reasons that the dentures are bothering me and I am literally getting sick about this. When I first got the dentures, my mouth burned within five minutes of wearing them. My dentist’s explanation was that my gums were still healing and that in a month or two there wouldn’t be any problems. The problems didn’t go away. When I returned to the dentist he told me that my gums were irritated because I must not be wearing the dentures enough. I was wearing them every day for at least 8 to 10 hours. How much is enough? I want to switch to dental implants but I am not sure that I can afford them, if my insurance will help me with the cost because of the allergy, or if I just need to consider new dentures from another dentist. What are my options? Thanks. Peter.

Peter,

Although it’s rare to be allergic to dental acrylic, it is possible that you have an allergy or sensitivity to the material. At times, nickel in the metal base or an ingredient in the denture adhesive is causing the problem.,

If you use denture adhesive, try not to use it for a week. If the irritation improves, the adhesive might be the problem. Try other brands, one at a time, to see if they don’t irritate you and still help your dentures fit better.

If your denture is metal-free, or if you don’t have metal sensitivities or allergies, you, your dentist, and perhaps, your medical doctor can work to figure out what is causing the reaction. A new set of dentures from your dentist, or from a second-opinion dentist, might improve the situation. If you have an allergist, get a report of your sensitivities or allergies—or you might want to get tested for allergies.

Dental implants might be an option, but your insurance company isn’t likely to provide much in terms of benefits. If you learn that you are definitely allergic to your dentures, and if it can be proven, speak with your denture insurance company to find out if you can file an appeal for assistance with dental implants. Most insurance companies only provide benefits for the dental crown that is place on top of a dental implant.

We know this situation is frustrating, but if your dentist isn’t willing to get to the source of the problem, find a dentist who is willing to assist you.

This post is sponsored by Bedminister, NJ dentist Dr. Allyson Hurley.