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Alice Charland Bassford, DMD, MAGD
Cosmetic Dentistry and Dental Health
ASE Dental
. http://www.silverspringdmd.com/

Cosmetic Dentistry and Dental Health

People choose esthetic dental procedures/surgery for various reasons – to repair a defect such as a malformed bite or crooked teeth, treat an injury, or just improve their overall appearance. Whatever the reason, the ultimate goal is to restore a beautiful smile.

For these and many other reasons, esthetic dentistry has become a vital and important part of the dental profession.

Common esthetic dental procedures can be performed to correct misshaped, discolored, chipped or missing teeth. They also can be used to change the overall shape of teeth – from teeth that are too long or short, have gaps, or simply need to be reshaped.

Some of the more common procedures involve:

Bonding – A procedure in which tooth-colored material is used to close gaps or change tooth color.

Contouring and reshaping – A procedure that straightens crooked, chipped, cracked or overlapping teeth.

Veneers – A procedure in which ultra-thin coatings are placed over the front teeth. Veneers can change the color or shape of your teeth. For example, veneers have been used to correct unevenly spaced, crooked, chipped, oddly shaped or discolored teeth.

Whitening and bleaching – As the term implies, whitening and bleaching, a rapidly increasing procedure, is used to make teeth whiter. Please note that while bleaching is safe, it requires a dentist’s supervision to ensure proper results. Over-the-counter whitening products are available to consumers however they might not work well – or even worse, they might work too well. If a bleaching agent is too strong, or used for too long, teeth can wind up with an unnatural, frosty look. Whitening toothpaste can be abrasive.

Both natural teeth and teeth with restorations survive best in an oral environment that is clean and where the intake of harmful foods is controlled. A good dental program is designed to help prevent new cavities, preserve teeth that have been restored and manage periodontal disease. At the initial visit oral hygiene instructions should be reviewed and reinforced at subsequent recall visits.

The following are helpful recommendations:

• Brush your teeth twice a day in a circular motion with a soft bristled toothbrush aimed at the gum.

• Floss every night in an up-and-down motion while keeping the floss in a U-shape and against the tooth surface.

• Avoid smoking or vaping.

• Avoid sticky sugary foods.

• Eat a balanced diet.

• Use antiseptic and fluoride rinses as directed.

• Have sealants placed on young permanent teeth.

• Consider a sonic toothbrush

• Chew xylitol gum

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