My daughter is in Kindergarten. She also does a lot of pageants. Last week she fell and now one of her front teeth has turned gray. I took her to the dentist. He said there’s nothing which can be done for the tooth and just to leave it alone. I was mortified and asked him to at least whiten it. He acted like I was nuts and just said no and left the room. First, can it be whitened? I don’t want it to hurt her chances in the pageants in a couple of months. Second, where can I find a dentist to whiten it? Third, if it can’t be, what can I replace it with? I was thinking a dental flipper for the competitions. That’s what some of my peers do when their daughter’s teeth fall out. Do you have an opinion?
I’m afraid your dentist is correct. A graying tooth cannot be whitened. When a tooth has turned gray from trauma, it means it’s either dead or dying. There’s not a realistic way to whiten it. The tooth will fall out, likely soon. It may likely fall out before the start of her competition. I’m not familiar with these pageants, but as they’re of children, I’d assume they’re used to the competitors missing teeth. It’s a normal part of development.
You mentioned replacing it. Her age really makes that a bad idea. A dental flipper is a temporary tooth replacement while you’re waiting for your more permanent replacement to be completed. However, they’re a choking hazard in young ones because they’re removable. The other options are removable partial dentures, a dental bridge, and dental implants.
All of these, while suitable replacements for an adult, aren’t good ideas for children. The removable partial dentures can also fall out, like the flipper. You wouldn’t want it to catch in her throat. The bridge won’t work because her jaw is changing too rapidly. The same is true for the implants, plus that particular option requires surgery.
If for some reason it doesn’t fall out on its own by the time of the competition, you always have the option of extracting the tooth. Honestly, though, I’m not sure that’s worth the potential trauma to your daughter with such a procedure. I wouldn’t even consider doing it without sedation.
It’s important to give children as many positive experiences with a dentist as possible. We want them to be comfortable going to the dentist so they’ll have good oral care without being afraid.
I hope this helps. I know it’s probably not what you wanted to hear. I’m concerned so many of your peers are using small removable oral appliances on young children. It’s really not recommended.
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