Will teeth whitening help tetracycline stained teeth?

My teeth are stained by tetracycline. My dentist is recommending crowns for my front teeth, but I am wondering if teeth whitening will help. If not, what are my options? – Beverly

Beverly – It’s best to avoid having crowns placed on your teeth. There are two other ways to handle the tetracycline stains.

Tetracycline is a powerful antibiotic that treats certain infections, and it can be life-saving. It can also treat acne. If tetracycline is taken while your teeth are still developing, it will deposit in your teeth and darken them. You’ll have gray or brown stains in your teeth. Sometimes the color of tetracycline stains presents itself as horizontal bands on the teeth.

One way to cover the stains is with porcelain veneers. But porcelain veneers are quite thin, and to get beautiful results without the dark stains showing through requires the expertise of a cosmetic dentist. Perhaps that’s why your dentist wants to use crowns instead. You can get beautiful results from a cosmetic dentist who understands the techniques required to give the veneers the right color and translucency, and who works with an expert dental laboratory technician.

The KöR Deep Bleaching System is a second way to treat the tetracycline stains. Many dentists say that teeth whitening will not budge tetracycline stains, but KöR deep bleaching has proven effective on these stains. See an example in the before-and-after photographs below.

Before and after teeth whitening pictures with Kor Deep Bleaching.

This blog is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.

What can I do about the spots that braces are making on my teeth?

Hi. I have one more year left before I get my braces off, but I’m noticing that there are spots on my teeth from the braces. I don’t know why this is happening. But now I’m guessing that once the braces are off I’m going to need more work on my teeth to get these ugly spots off. Is this true? – Ethan K. from Avondale

Ethan – Yes, you will need additional work on your teeth to remove the spots—but not until the braces are removed. You should know that the spots are a result of food accumulating around the brackets of the braces. Bacteria from the food attack your teeth. After the brackets are taken off, you’ll see white or chalky spots. Because the spots are the result of bacteria from food, there is something that you can do now. Start brushing your teeth thoroughly—after every time that you eat. If the spots haven’t progressed too far, the saliva produced while brushing can repair some of the spots.

After your braces are removed, it can be determined if there is decay under the spots on your teeth. If the spots are not large, tooth bonding is the best way to treat them. Damaged tooth enamel will be brushed away, along with any decay beneath it. The affected area will be covered with dental bonding. For the best results, find a cosmetic dentist who loves creating beautiful smiles. He or she will have the proper materials and expertise to ensure that the bonding on your teeth looks natural.

If there is a lot of damage to the tooth enamel, it may be best to cover the tooth with porcelain veneers.

Beware that although some dentists might attempt to bleach the spots away, bleaching does not work in this case. Bleaching uniformly whitens teeth and will not remove the spots. It may make the spots more noticeable.

Remember to carry a toothbrush with you so that you can brush your teeth after every time that you eat. This will loosen the food particles from the brackets and prevent further damage to your teeth—keeping your teeth and your breath clean.

This blog is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.