Help… I want my fluoride stains gone!

I’ve lived most of my life with fluoride stains on my front teeth. My dentist first suggested I try teeth whitening, but it seemed to almost make the stains look worse until the color evened out. At my last appointment, I asked about other options to cover the stains, and he recommended porcelain veneers. I also read that bonding will work and it’s much cheaper. Is one better than the other? — Avery

It sounds like you’re dentist doesn’t really know what to do when it comes to fluoride stains, because if he did, he wouldn’t have done the teeth whitening. It simply doesn’t work for teeth that have splotches, but many dentists still suggest it.

Mild fluorosis can be covered with dental bonding.
Mild fluorosis can be covered with dental bonding.

The stains you are referring to are called fluorosis and they can be tricky. Porcelain veneers work well to cover more severe (brown) stains, however, they are expensive. If you have lighter splotching, dental bonding will work, too, but it’s important to note that dental bonding is an art and would best be handled by someone who is skilled in cosmetic dentistry. It takes artistry and skill – and that’s something that is not learned in dental school. It takes the right materials and an eye for aesthetics to ensure that the result is natural and beautiful.

This doesn’t mean you have to ditch your dentist all together. I’m sure he is fine for general cleanings and exams, but if you choose to go the route of bonding, do your research and find a skilled cosmetic dentist in your area who can get this done right for you.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Alana Macalik. For more information on the services she provides, visit her Arlington cosmetic dentist website.