Tag Archives: braces

Can Lower-Middle Class Afford Lumineers

The kids at school have been making fun of my teeth. I thought this would stop after I was done with braces, but for some reason, my teeth developed some white spots on them during my braces. They keep pointing that out now. I’ve been thinking I should get one of those smile makeovers that Lumineers advertises. But, my mom works hard and stresses over money, so I don’t want to bother her if it’s not affordable. She works at a clothing store in the mall and sometimes drives for Uber at night. Is this do-able for her or would I just be stressing her more? I know the braces weren’t easy for her to pay for.

Kara L.

Dear Kara,

An advertisement for Lumineers

First, I want to commend you. You seem to be both considerate and mature. Your mother should be proud of you. It distresses me the way young people can be so cruel to one another. Even with you feeling the brunt of some of that cruelty, you’re still considering how this will affect your mother. That says so much about your character.

Next, I want to make sure you understand that Lumineers is simply a brand of porcelain veneers, just like there are many brands of clothing at the store your mother works.

While there are many different brands, each of them has different strengths and weaknesses. Even if you and your mother decide porcelain veneers are a good option for you, the dentist will know which brand is more likely to give you the smile you want.

Are Lumineers Your Best Solution?

A woman and her dentist smiling
A Good Dentist Tells You All Your Options

It sounds like you’re still in high school or possibly even an extremely articulate middle-schooler. What that means for your dental care is your jaw and bite are still developing. Something, like Lumineers or some other brand, will have to be re-done several times as your jaw and bite change. Porcelain veneers cost between $1,000 to $2,000 per tooth. That is a very pricey procedure to have to re-do several times. I can’t imagine if your mother struggled with braces, this will likely be out of her reach.

But, don’t despair! There’s always more than one solution to a problem! There’s one for you too.

You’re concerned about the white spots which developed on your teeth after your orthodontics. Based on what you’ve said, you developed some decalcification on your teeth. This is a common problem with braces. Lumineers won’t fix the spots. It’s possible they could hide the color differences. But, Lumineers are an ultra-thin brand. Without some color manipulation and possibly some filling, it’s possible the blotchiness will show through.

There is a way to fix the decalcification spots, though, using tooth mousse or some other method. I think your best solution is to discuss with your mother what’s been going on at school. Ask her to make an appointment with a cosmetic dentist just to find out what options you have. Some will even do a complimentary consultation in situations like yours. It doesn’t obligate you to anything, just informs you of all the possibilities, along with their differences in price.

This blog is brought to you by Drs. Kevin and Hillary Peck.

Questions from a child

Hi my name is Neil and I’m going to the dentist for the first time. I had some questions and my mom said the best thing to do would be to ask a dentist. So, she’s typing my questions to you.

  1. Will it hurt?
  2. What happens if my teeth ever get twisted?
  3. What happens if my teeth look like a cows? (My mom doesn’t want to ask this one, but I made her promise).

Thanks, Neil

Hi Neil,

Great questions! (Even the one about the cow).

  1. Usually children’s dentist appointments don’t hurt, especially first ones. The dentist just checks out that your teeth are growing in healthy. A special helper called a hygienist will give your teeth a gentle cleaning and take off any bacteria. Most children like going to the dentist.  (Some even give treats at the end of the appointment)
  2. If your teeth come in twisted, your dentist will suggest that when you’re old enough you get braces. Those gently fix your teeth into their proper position.
  3. Hmmm….that’s a new question for me.  I think if you had cow’s teeth (and didn’t like them), when you were old enough you could get them to look different with porcelain veneers.

I hope you really enjoy your first dental appointment. I bet it will be awesome!!!

This blog is brought to you by Drs. Kevin and Hillary Peck.

Lumineers for a tooth gap

My boyfriend doesn’t like my tooth gap. He suggested I get something done about it. I talked to my dentist and he suggested lumineers. They’re awfully expensive. Is there another option?

Dana B. – Rhode Island


I hope you won’t be offended if I say you should do something about about your boyfriend before you do your tooth gap. It’s fine if you want to fix it, but only if you want to. You shouldn’t have to change your appearance for anyone else.

There is another option if you don’t think you can afford lumineers. Dental bonding can close your tooth gap. There is a downside. It won’t last as long as lumineers.  Lumineers can last for a couple of decades or more. The dental bonding will only last a few years before it will have to be re-done. However, it can give you time to save up for something more permanent.

You can also get braces or invisalign to close the gap.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentists Drs. Kevin and Hillary Peck.

White spots after braces

My daughter had braces and now she has white spots on her teeth. Our dentist had recommended whitening her teeth, but my friend said that whitening won’t help because the teeth will be whiter but still be uneven in color. I know she isn’t a dentist, but is really quite bright and doesn’t usually say something she isn’t knowledgeable in. Is it possible my friend is right and my dentist is wrong?

Donna M.- Mississippi


I’m am really frustrated to say that your friend knows more than your dentist. When you have uneven tooth color, using teeth whitening just makes the difference in color more obvious.  The white spots on her teeth are decalcification that occured while wearing her braces. This happens when there are some oral hygiene issues.

There are a couple of ways to treat this. There is something called Tooth Mousse that was specifically designed for this issue. Another possible treatment is tooth bonding. The softened and decalcified enamel will be removed and then replaced with composite materials that will be bonded onto her teeth. It goes without saying that I would go to a different dentist to do this procedure.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Kevin Peck.