My daughter injured one of her teeth a while back and it turned gray. The dentist advised me to just let it be. He said it would fall out soon enough and that if there weren’t any symptoms, she should be ok. I was worried about how things would go when she started school in the fall and I asked my dentist if teeth whitening was an option. I’m a stay-at-home mom and my daughter has been home with me this whole time. I’m afraid that if she’s around other kids, they’ll pick on her. That would be a devastating way for her to begin her school years. The dentist looked at me like I was nuts when I suggested fixing it and told me to let it be. Is teeth whitening and option, and if so, how do I go about finding a dentist who will do it? — Sheila
Teeth whitening, in a general sense, probably won’t work in this situation. The stains you’re talking about are working their way out from the inside, whereas traditional teeth whitening works on stains near the outside of a tooth. It’s ideal to handle stains caused by coffee and other external forces. In cases like this, doctors may perform an internal teeth whitening procedure, but it’s a complex procedure and requires that the patient be highly cooperative.
While it may be true that kids can be difficult, they don’t tend to notice small things like the shade of a tooth at this age. If she was a teenager or a late adolescent, that might be different. It’s highly unlikely that she or any of her peers will have a problem with the discoloration, as long as it isn’t pointed out. Most kids start to lose their front teeth in kindergarten or first grade. You didn’t mention which tooth it is, but those tend to be the ones most susceptible to trauma. So, there’s a good chance she’ll lose the tooth within a year or so anyway and her peers will be so busy focusing on the excitement of who lost a tooth first, the color won’t even be on the radar.