Have you seen all the happy people with straight white teeth in ads and commercials? Aside from photo-retouching, there are 4 ways to get “whiter” teeth. There are two ways to get “straighter” teeth.
1. Whitening agents in toothpastes are often just abrasive particles. They may remove some stain from tartar, foods, or tobacco, but the stain returns shortly if habits aren’t changed. They don’t remove tartar (also known as calculus). There is some debate that the abrasive also creates miniscule scratches on root surfaces, making a rougher surface that attracts more stain and bacteria.
2. Regular dental cleanings remove all surface stains, using hand or mechanical methods, and often end with a paste that decreases in abrasiveness as it is applied. At the same time, tooth-strengthening fluoride is applied with an effective polishing motion.
3. Tooth bleaching is another process but it doesn’t mean that one can spread laundry bleach on their teeth! To be effective on every surface, custom molds are required from our practice, as well as a bleaching product that will not harm you or your teeth and gums. Please be aware that commercially-available molds are often advertised as $20 solutions to unsightly teeth. These are problematic, “one-size-fits-most” trays that give no guarantee that the bleaching product will remain in contact with all areas of each tooth, so the improvement may look spotty. There is also a greater risk that the product won’t remain in trays if they don’t fit properly.
4. Finally, I can create cosmetic crowns for teeth. The shade of these crowns is determined by a joint decision with the patient, taking one’s complexion and surrounding natural tooth color in to consideration.
To achieve straighter teeth, both children and adults need orthodontic treatment to guide their teeth into place, sometimes with removable structures that “guide” teeth into place. At times, minor adjustments are made made to cosmetic crowns which narrow or broaden an existing space. Should you hope to see your smile in pictures, we can discuss your specific options at any time!
Contact Winterset Dental today to find out which treatment is right for you.