Our mouth is probably our most important facial feature, because, as we speak, smile and laugh all eyes are there. Our mouths are key to showing mood and emotion. Compliment a beaming smile with even, straight, sparkling white teeth. If you still have your own teeth at this time of your life you will be keen to keep them, but a little maintenance and/or cosmetic work may be necessary to keep up appearances.
A common dental cosmetic procedure. Facings, or veneers, can cover a multitude of problems: stains, old discoloured fillings, crooked, broken and chipped teeth plus wide spaces between teeth. Facings suit the front top teeth between and often including eyeteeth.
At your first appointment, an impression will be taken and the teeth to be faced will be shortened slightly to allow for the facing then abraded a little to aid glue adherence. A shade of white for the facings will be decided. I was so disappointed with the shade recommended for my facings that I objected “No. No. I want white like your coat.” I felt better when the dentist told me the name of the shade he had recommended was Teenage White!
The delicate facings are formed up using the impression, fitted and glued to your own teeth.
When your dentist passes the mirror for you to look you will be positively joyous I guarantee.
I have had facings for nearly 30 years and have had them replaced once I was careless and damaged the first set. It may be necessary to change some eating habits. An added bonus of having facings fitted to the front top teeth is that the facings will push out the upper lip one or two millimetres and iron out a few lines there.
Instead of having molars at the back of the mouth extracted when problems occur, a crown may be an option. Until recently, the routine involved an impression being taken and the dental mechanic making up the crown; usually a fortnight or so between appointments. Now 3D computer technology is used and you can watch the crown being shaped (my dentist uses the Cerec System) and have it made and fitted all during one appointment. The cost is considerably less than previously.
Go to lengths to avoid an extraction unless a replacement tooth is to be added. This applies to back and side teeth especially; you may think that the gap will not be noticeable but it is, and can cause the cheeks to collapse and hollow out. Missing teeth may lead to bone loss in the jaw.
Implant procedures are rather long and tedious and sometimes complicated if a bridge is being used in conjunction with the implant. Several weeks and up to six months may be needed for work to be completed. That is a long time to put up with a temporary tooth, but all good things come to those who are patient.
A screw is inserted into the jawbone the screw is “honeycombed” and it is necessary to wait until the jawbone grows into the screw’s honeycomb holes when it will become strong and firmly embedded before the artificial tooth is attached. You are bound to be thrilled with the result. Once again, sensible habits and the implant should last forever.
If you missed out on braces maybe it’s not too late. Do yourself a favour and straighten those crooked teeth, the time will pass more quickly for you than it will for teenagers.
Nowadays it is rare to see a young person with crooked or prominent teeth. Make the appointment and join the teenagers. In no time you will be admiring the new you in the mirror.
Whitening your teeth will give you the biggest bang for your buck. White, unstained teeth framed in pretty pink lips is definitely beauty plus. Whitening toothpastes only contain a limited amount of whitening ingredient so are not very effective. Your dentist can use much more concentrated bleaching products. Whitening may be done at home using a bleaching gel supplied by the dentist and I understand that laser whitening is available I am unfamiliar with this method of teeth whitening so if you or any of your friends have had a laser whitening treatment, please add a comment about your experience.
TIP: Clean your teeth once or twice a day with bicarbonate of soda (bicarb soda) to keep teeth whiter than white. I know two Italian women who have always done this and they do have the whitest of white teeth.
After having my second set of facings applied, I was unhappy about my rather higgledy-piggledy bottom teeth. My dentist ground off and shaped the uneven bottom teeth as much as he safely could and I used a gel whitener on those teeth to complete the new look. Stunning! Home whitening kits are available too.
More serious and extreme appearance problems involving the shape of the jaw and teeth can be corrected using surgery to reshape and realign the jaw. This procedure is an operation involving anaesthetic and comes with all the risks associated with operations. I have an acquaintance who has had a magnificent result after having her jaw reshaped. She now looks quite different and very lovely with well balanced, regular features and is much more confident, happy and outgoing.
All these treatments and procedures are expensive, no doubt about it. Extras cover on your health insurance is a boon, but expect to spend big money for cosmetic dental work.
You may like to investigate the option of taking a cosmetic dental holiday to an Asian country and have the work done for a fraction of the local price. Be aware that your local dentist may not be happy to treat any problems that arise or deal with follow-up work. I have seen some of this dental work; some is wonderful and some I would liken to a set of piano keys!
As this article goes to press (as it were), research into helping with the uncomfortable and unpleasant problem of receding gums is about to be completed and ready to go. Computer aided technology has been developed to deal with this common complaint. Hopefully no more bleeding gums, bad breath, and painful sensitivity.
TIP: If you experience sensitivity use your finger or a cotton bud to apply a dollop of toothpaste especially for sensitive teeth. This will give some temporary relief.
- Brush your teeth twice a day and floss every night.
- Rinse your mouth with mouthwash every night and morning. Rinse until all debris is gone from the mouth and you will prevent lots of dental problems.
- It is not necessary to use toothpaste which can aggravate sensitive teeth, but, generally speaking the use of toothpaste is a matter of choice.
- Consider your teeth a major part of your appearance. Straight, even, sparkling white teeth are basic to a beautiful face.