Teeth Reshaping After Braces and Other Ways to Perfect Your Smile

Straightening your teeth not only improves your oral health, but it can also improve your smile. Braces can redefine your smile at any age, and as many as 20 to 25 percent of orthodontic patients today are adults, according to the Seton Hill University Center for Orthodontics.

Perfecting your smile doesn't begin and end with braces. Once the braces come off, you have a few options for further enhancing your smile, including wearing a retainer, teeth whitening and teeth reshaping after braces. If you're looking for ways to perfect your smile, consider how these treatments might work for you.

Keep Them Straight

Aftercare is necessary once your braces are removed because your newly straightened teeth must be stabilized by wearing a retainer. A retainer is a custom-made appliance constructed of plastic and metal wires to keep your teeth in place. They're usually removable, but they can sometimes be fixed. For the first six months after braces removal, you may be required to wear a retainer full-time. The six-month period may be followed by wearing the retainer at night, explains the Consumer Guide to Dentistry. Be sure to follow your dentist's or orthodontist's instructions on wearing your retainer so you can get the full benefit of your braces and retainer.

Whiten and Brighten

Over the years, your teeth can stain after exposure to certain foods and drinks, such as coffee, tea and tomato sauce. Make your smile even more attractive with teeth whitening. Available in your dentist's office, teeth whitening involves applying a peroxide-based gel to the teeth that can remove deep surface stains and make them five to seven times brighter. Whitening works well on yellow teeth, but not on brown or grayed teeth, nor on existing caps, fillings, veneers and crowns, notes the American Dental Association (ADA). Prevent future stains by brushing your teeth twice to three times a day with a tooth-whitening toothpaste like Colgate® Optic White® and staying away from stain-causing foods.

Reshape and Contour

Teeth reshaping after braces is another option, especially if there are other aspects of your smile you want to tweak. Tooth reshaping and dental contouring are cosmetic procedures that alter the shape, length and position of your teeth to fix minor imperfections such as a slightly crooked, overlapping, misshapen, chipped or extra-pointy tooth. Your dentist will decide which procedure can improve your smile, sometimes combining the two procedures, and take X-rays to determine if you have enough bone to support them, as detailed by the Academy of General Dentistry.

Life after braces takes dedication as you continue your oral care regimen and decide on additional procedures for your smile to really take shape. Do your own research and consult with your dentist on your treatment options so you can achieve the smile you deserve and the confidence that comes along with it.

More Articles You May Like

Common Conditions During ADULTHOOD

As we get older, dental care for adults is crucial. Here are a few of the conditions to be aware of:

Gum disease – if your home care routine of brushing and flossing has slipped and you have skipped your regular dental cleanings, bacterial plaque and tartar can build up on your teeth. The plaque and tartar, if left untreated, may eventually cause irreparable damage to your jawbone and support structures, and could lead to tooth loss.

Oral cancer – according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, men over the age of 40 have the greatest risk for oral cancer. About approximately 43,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer of the mouth, tongue or throat area, and the ACS estimates that about 7,000 people will die from these cancers. The use of tobacco products and alcohol increases the risk of oral cancer. Most oral cancers are first diagnosed by the dentist during a routine checkup.

Dental fillings break down – fillings have a life expectancy of eight to 10 years. However, they can last 20 years or longer. When the fillings in your mouth start to break down, food and bacteria can get underneath them and can cause decay deep in the tooth.