A Great Smile Can Boost Your Confidence and Change Your Life
Do you keep your lips together when you smile or have a tendency to cover your mouth when you laugh because your teeth are less than perfect? Maybe you’ve always secretly admired the way that your friends, family, and even strangers smile. You wished you could have that kind of smile. Alas, the cost to close the gap between your teeth is way out of your reach, right? Not so fast. Most people give up on having a perfect set of teeth before they even talk to a dentist. The truth is, there’s a lot you can do, very inexpensively, at any age.
There are many different causes for improperly spaced teeth. Some of them include:
Thumb-Sucking Thumb-sucking is common in children. However, after a child starts developing teeth, it’s time to curb the habit. Why? Because it can cause teeth to grow in improperly. If you were a kid who sucked his or her thumb after teething, it’s likely that you unknowingly caused some spacing between the teeth. Fortunately, this can be corrected with special tooth hardware.
Overgrowth of Skin Sometimes, skin develops between teeth and pushes them apart. Excessive gums can also be corrected with a simple procedure that involves removing the skin and applying braces to the teeth.
Swallowing Errors Swallowing errors often develop in childhood. Believe it or not, there’s a correct way to swallow. Sometimes, some individuals end up thrusting their tongue forward against their front teeth. This is called tongue thrust and it responsible for front teeth misalignment.
Periodontal Disease Periodontal disease often happens when an individual does not have good oral hygiene, but it can also be caused by a serious imbalance of oral bacteria in the mouth, which started at childhood and was never corrected. Bacteria lodge themselves between the tooth surface and the gum line and start laying down a biofilm or plaque or both. The tooth separates from the gum and loosens the tooth until it falls out. Other teeth grow in and drift apart, creating gaps or spaces. Sometimes, this sort of thing happens when primary teeth fall out.
Common solutions to these problems include veneers, caps or crowns, bridges, braces and clear aligners.
Veneers Veneers are thin coverings for teeth that can correct the shape and size of a tooth. If there’s a very small gap, a veneer may be able to cover it up. For example, a dentist can take a mold of your teeth, send it to a lab, and cement the new veneer to your misaligned tooth in about 2 to 3 weeks. The veneer is a permanent fixture and looks just like your natural tooth.
Crowns and Bridges Crowns and bridges are often reserved for those with damaged teeth, and if your gap is caused by a lost tooth or a broken or seriously chipped tooth, then a crown or a bridge (several crowns fused together in a row) can help fix the spacing.
Braces While you’re undoubtedly familiar with stainless steel metallic braces, there are other braces on the market that are fixed to the back of your teeth, and some of them are even made of plastic.
Clear Aligner Trays Invisalign takes a modern approach to straightening teeth, using a custom-made series of aligners created for you and only you. These aligner trays are made of smooth, comfortable and virtually invisible plastic that you wear over your teeth. Wearing the aligners will gradually and gently shift your teeth into place, based on the exact movements your dentist plans out for you. There are no metal brackets to attach and no wires to tighten. You just pop in a new set of aligners approximately every two weeks, until your treatment is complete. You’ll achieve a great smile with little interference in your daily life. The best part about the whole process is that most people won’t even know you’re straightening your teeth.
Your dentist is the best resource for consultation so make an appointment to discuss options. They’ll help you make your smile the best it can be.
Sources: WorlDental.org, Invisalign