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Will Zoom Whitening Fix Uneven Color?

My daughter recently got off her braces. When that happened, there were white spots on her teeth. I asked our dentist about it and she sugested zoom whitneing. I don’t know if she did something wrong or not, but it seemed to make the white spots worse. It is a new service she’s offering so maybe she missed a step? I’d really like to help my daughter get this fixed because she is very self-conscous about her teeth and had been looking forward to getting her braces off. This feels like a let-down to her. Do you have any advice for us? Teenagers are really sensitive and some of her peers have been mean.


Dear Kaitlin,

Tooth whitening patient under a zoom whitening light

I am glad you wrote and am sorry for your daughter’s disappointment. It is not easy being a teenager even when everything is going smoothly. It appears that your dentist is a bit confused about the principles behind teeth whitening. You mentioned this is a new procedure for her so she may be still learning.

The reason the Zoom Whitening did not work on your daughter’s white spots is not because your dentist did anything wrong. It is actually because that is not how teeth whitening works. Both in-office whitening, like Zoom, or take home whitening are very effective, however, the bleaching process works on the teeth evenly. Because of that, the white spots get whiter along with the rest of her teeth. That is why they look worse now.

White spots after braces are caused by decalcification. These are precursors to decay and are fairly common in teens after traditional braces. Many teenagers tend to not brush adequately around all those metal wires and brackets. One solution to this is a product called Tooth Mousse. It will remineralize the teeth and preven the spots from turning into decay. They don’t make any aesthetic claims, however. If after the spots are remineralized, if there is still a color difference I recommend you bring her to an excellent cosmetic dentist to have dental bonding done on those spots.

Don’t have your current dentist do the bonding. This is a much more advanced cosmetic procedure than teeth whitening and she is still learning that. Start with the tooth mousse, then go from there.

This blog is brought to you by Moline Dentist Dr. Thomas Goebel.

Can Teething Cause Fevers?

Our daughter, Tiara, is almost 8 months old and keeps getting fevers. There are no other symptoms except irritability. Her gums are swollen on the lower front, which I think means her teeth are coming in. Could those be causing the fevers? Also, a friend said I should slit the gums so the teeth can get in, but that seems really dangerous to me. Am I supposed to do that?


Dear Kelly,

Child fussy from teething

Let’s start with the swollen gums. Your instincts are good. Please do not slit or cut her gums in any way. The gums will open on their own. Babies bodies are designed for the teeth to come through once the root has developed enough. If you skip that process, it is very possible that the growth of her teeth roots will be stunted and she will not have enough root to support the new teeth. Give it time and the process will happen naturally.

As for the fevers. If your daughter’s fevers are mild, then, yes, they can be from the teething. Anything other than mild and I would take her to see her doctor.

Symptoms of Teething

  • Fussiness
  • Drooling
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Drooling
  • Loss of appetite
  • Every baby is a bit different, but these are some of the more common symptoms. They do not have to have all of the symptoms. I’m just making you aware of things that could happen. If you are still concerned, it is perfectly fine to see a pediatric dentist once a child is old enough to sit up. In fact, a good pediatric dentist will always recommend an early start to dental appointments. This way the children associate the dentist with fun. Too many parents wait until there is an issue with a child’s teeth and then the association is scary and painful, whcih can lead to a lifetime of dental anxiety.

    This blog is brought to you by Moline Dentist Dr. Thomas Goebel.