Orthodontic braces are indeed the best bet for everyone to improve their smile and hone their aesthetic appeal. But improving smile with braces requires ample investment in terms of time, dedication and money. Only when you have made the right investment, you smile will metamorphose to greater perfection. Once your braces come out once and for all you should consider the following cosmetic dentistry procedures – teeth whitening and teeth reshaping.
A London based dentist explains, tooth reshaping is more popularly called as dental contouring. This procedure introduces certain subtle improvements to your smile. Orthodontic braces including invisalign addresses problems like overlapping and crooked teeth, while dental contouring fixes the edges that are excessively sharp, chipped or misshapen. The procedure scraps away a portion of the tooth enamel in order to modify the shape, length and the surface of a tooth or several teeth. No numbing agent is used in the process to make you stay comfortable and neither there is any healing time. The procedure lasts about half an hour on average.
Tooth reshaping occurs in four stages.
- In the first step your dentist or specialist orthodontist takes an x-ray of your mouth to ensure your oral health is sound.
- In the next step a special pen is used to mark the areas of your teeth where contouring is necessary.
- The oral health expert then makes use of a sanding instrument to sculpt the tooth artfully using abrasion technique. Sculpting is done to the level of perfection to minimise as well as eliminate the imperfections.
- Lastly the treated tooth is smoothened and polished.
Reshaping of the tooth is often clubbed with another procedure called bonding. This is done to bring out the best results of dental contouring or tooth reshaping. The process of bonding is undeniably effective in filling up gaps or chips. Moreover, it adds a definite shape to a tooth. The procedure even improves the colour of the teeth to a considerable extent. The procedure of teeth bonding lasts between 30 minutes and one hour on average. As far as its technicalities are concerned, the following steps are involved.
Preparatory step – your dentist prepares the tooth meant for bonding by making its surface little rough using a sanding instrument. This roughening process ensures the bonding resin material fixes well on the tooth. Depending on how well you cope with the situation, the orthodontist may apply a numbing solution to the tooth to ensure your comfort.
Application stage – once the preparatory step is over, the orthodontist applies a putty-like resin on the surface of the tooth. The resin is selected matching the natural colour of your teeth. The resin material is then carefully given shape. Almost in no time it adheres to the tooth surface and gets hardened.
Making adjustments – once the bonding material is given a shape, a special light is applied on it so that it hardens quickly. At this stage your dentist will ask you to bite down to see whether any excess resin bonding material needs to be scraped from the tooth surface. You have to keep biting down on and on several times till it becomes perfect.
While you are on orthodontic braces your teeth are highly prone to pick up stain. Thus, you must maintain oral hygiene during those days to keep unsightly stains on the teeth at bay. Once the orthodontic treatment to straighten the teeth is finished you may have to look for procedures that make your smile brighter. One such option that is unbelievably reliable and satisfactory is teeth whitening.
Teeth whitening can be done is several ways depending on your goals and budget. Let us now explore those options in the following section.
Professional teeth whitening – this is one of the fastest and most effective options to whiten your teeth. However, before anything else your dentist has to diagnose your mouth to adjudicate whether you are a suitable candidate for it. You have to book an appointment with your dentist to get the procedure done. The treatment makes use of bleaching gels and a special light to whiten the teeth almost at a lightning speed. In many cases only a single session of the procedure is enough.
Custom ‘at home’ whitening trays – in order to whiten the teeth using the custom whitening trays at home you have to talk to your dentist. This option provides you with professional quality whitening at a better value. These trays are specially customised for your mouth and filled with a bleaching gel. You wear the trays at home for a specified amount of time mentioned by your dentist to get your teeth whitened. It allows you to whiten the teeth within the atmosphere of your home.
Commercial whitening products available ‘over the counter’ – there is a wide variety of products readily available over the counter at supermarkets and chemist shops to whiten the teeth. The products include whitening pens, strips and even toothpastes. However, this range of whitening products removes stain only from the surface of the teeth enamel. To be on the safer side ask your regular dentist to recommend you a particular ‘over the counter’ product that is safe for your teeth and the gums.
Once your orthodontic treatment is over and the braces have come out of the mouth for the final time does not mean that you can go on your own without caring for treatment aftercare. As far as orthodontic treatments are concerned, aftercare part is crucial once a procedure ends. This is because the teeth have a tendency to relapse or sink back into their initial position after you stop wearing the braces. Thus, in order to maintain your beautiful smile treatment aftercare is more than a necessity. And this aftercare part is mostly done by wearing retainers. Retainers are customised appliances mostly made of plastic or metal wire and are meant to stabilise the teeth by holding them to their shifted position.
Retainers can be removable as well as permanently fixed to the back of the teeth. Usually, one needs to keep wearing retainers for up to six months after the treatment gets over to ensure the teeth stay straight for years together. Other than wearing retainers to the teeth you must maintain a sound oral hygiene during the aftercare period. As the braces are already taken out, brushing the teeth properly at this stage is much easier. Brush and floss the teeth properly every day. Brush twice for two minutes each while floss once a day using an inter-dental flossing device. In addition to that, a London based invisalign provider adds, you should keep visiting your dentist at routine intervals after the treatment to get your oral health assessed.