A lot of us have not been kind to our teeth and mouths; you may have subjected your teeth and gums to any number of these goodies, fried Twinkies, banana split, root beer floats, and similar sugary foods and treats. Your teeth could also have suffered from unhealthy habits like opening a bag of chips with them, chewing ice cubes, grinding, and more. Or maybe you need a constant intake of coffee to keep you going during the day or have developed a little smoking habit. These too can have an adverse effect on our teeth. Combine that with poor oral hygiene and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
Our teeth are an important part of our lives, yet they’re often abused and neglected. Teeth are used daily for both talking and eating. This makes bacteria infestation quite easy with poor oral hygiene. When you sleep with food particles still present in your mouth, bacteria will quickly multiply and all hell can break loose inside your mouth. Causing cavities to form and of course, a nasty case of the morning breathe.
With the rise of cosmetic dentistry, people of all ages have been able to have the perfect smile. There are plenty of options to choose from – you can manipulate the shape of your teeth, whiten them, close the gaps between them, remove cavities and plaques, and more.
Keep on reading to learn about 7 common procedures that can help you have a healthy, happy smile!
1. Teeth Whitening
Teeth often lose their white shade over time. This often comes naturally as it absorbs various chemicals from the food and drinks you consume throughout your life. Coffee, tea, and even blueberries are quite common causes of teeth stain. Smoking also causes discoloration, along with tooth decay.
You may opt to bleach your teeth at home or may prefer to have your dentist brighten that smile. While bleaching your teeth at home may be a bit convenient, it also takes a lot longer – about two to four weeks. On the other hand, at the dentist’s office it could be done in less than a week with sessions that often last for an hour or two.
If you go with this procedure, keep in mind that you’ll need to monitor your food and drink intake to keep your teeth white, otherwise it’ll quickly lose its white shade again. Additionally, remember that the teeth whitening procedure is an aesthetic fix and is not an alternative to the teeth cleaning procedure.
When subjected to harsh tasks like biting off bottle caps or ripping off packaging, teeth often wear down quickly and lose their original appearance. A Crown can help restore the abused tooth to its normal shape and protect it from further damage.
Crowns can be made of a few materials, porcelain fused to metal, metal only, ceramic, or resin. Crowns are often pretty expensive and are usually a last resort type of procedure. They have a long life though and are quite realistic.
Crowns could often be made in just one day. Molds of your tooth will be created to properly manufacture the right grooves and ridges in the crowns, then a temporary crown could be provided to you while the permanent one is being crafted carefully.
Veneers act almost like crowns, but instead of covering teeth fully they instead cover only the front sides. A lot of dentists prefer this procedure as it preserves the teeth’s natural structure.
Similar to a crown, your dentist will take an impression of your tooth to properly manufacture the porcelain veneer. You’ll need a second visit to attach the veneers.
Bonding is probably a cheaper version of veneers and is often used to fill small cavities. It’s basically like pouring cement over holes in the street.
This procedure could often be done in a single session. An etching solution with certain materials colored like teeth is applied to the teeth directly. While bonding is cheaper and faster to do, it’s less durable and doesn’t look as good as veneers.
Braces are becoming increasingly common because they not only straighten out your teeth, but they can fix overbites, underbites, and other jaw and teeth problems. Braces pretty much force the teeth to the desired places, usually for a few months to a few years depending on how badly the teeth are positioned.
Braces are made of metal, ceramic, or plastic brackets with wires that go through them. Every time you visit the dentist, the braces are tightened. This is often a very uncomfortable experience at first – a lot of people report losing weight due to loss of appetite. Good oral hygiene becomes more important as bacteria could easily hide in the tiny gaps of your braces.
Invisalign is an alternative to braces. It’s less noticeable because it’s transparent, and it’s also removable. It’s usually more expensive than braces, but it’s often more convenient and less painful. However it can only correct minor problems though – you won’t be able to correct horribly misaligned teeth.
Implants are very expensive but are better alternatives to removable dentures that could easily fall out. Implants are surgically connected to the jawbone and look like real tooth. The procedure consists of several steps and will therefore take quite a few sessions. They last very long and won’t lose their white shade anytime soon.
Cosmetic dentistry has led to a lot of promising procedures that can help just about anyone have a perfect smile, but you have to remember that the procedures can only do so much in restoring your original teeth. Prevention is always better than the cure, so make sure you practice good oral hygiene. The better you take care of your teeth, the less damage control you’ll need to do later on.