There's a lot of prep work that usually goes into getting ready to say 'I do.' From finding the perfect makeup artist, to marking your calendar to get your roots colored with juuuust enough time to make it through the wedding and the honeymoon, we put a lot of effort into grooming! After all, those pictures are forever, right?
So why not be sure your smile is in tip top shape too? Post Falls Family Dental is here to help with all your whitening, straightening and beyond smile needs before your big day! (Editor's note: This is my personal dentist so I really believe in them!) They're sharing the different ways they can help below.
As a dentist I try not to "smile shame" people. I never analyze, study and embarrass patients or friends alike. But most people aren't aware of the possibilities and solutions for a smile they've always wanted!
Often times it is one or two teeth that are crooked or the shade of the teeth isn't white enough but they've "tried that whitening stuff." So there are times I overstep my bounds because I just know I can help people get the smile they desire without necessarily needing a huge investment of money and time. Let me explain!
Whitening: There are different routes to making your teeth a little brighter. Unfortunately none of them lighten existing dental work such as fillings and crowns. There are essentially two ways a tooth can whiten. First, there is extrinsic stain we build up due to the habits we have. Smoking, coffee, wine, foods, etc build up extrinsic stain. In this case a cleaning from a dental hygienist can remove it. I advise against whitening toothpastes daily however because they are so abrasive.
Second, the natural color of our tooth is considered our intrinsic color. This is how whitening gels, rinses, etc work to lighten teeth. Over the counter whitening gels (Crest Whitestrips for example) do work, however the trays are not generally custom made and gum irritation can occur if the gel gets on the gums. Also, over the counter products tend to be a low percentage so it is weaker. The other option is to whiten with gel from a dental office. Our version is a stronger percentage (a prescription strength per se) and is generally used in custom made trays so that the patient has control over where the gel goes (especially away from those gums!). Finally there is an in office whitening available. In our office we use a system called Zoom that uses a light to fast forward the whitening process.
This is a good solution for those people that lack discipline to do it at home consistently (come on... you know who you are) and if you have a big event coming up soon. You do need to maintain but that only requires a touch up at home every once in awhile.
Teeth straightening: Good news! Crowded teeth, spaces and orthodontic relapse is not something you need to be stuck with! Often times patients think that in order to straighten teeth they will be stuck with metal braces for two years. In the past this was true. If you missed your chance to have straight teeth as a kid or, like me, never wore your retainer it is easier (and cheaper) today to get your teeth straight in an efficient and cosmetic fashion.
Please do not turn to the internet companies as it is not overseen by a trained professional. We offer two options for adult short term cosmetic focused teeth straightening. The first is Invisalign. By utilizing digital technology and 3D printing, custom trays are made in a series. You wear each set of trays for a week at a time as the teeth slowly move. You can eat and brush and floss like normal however the key to this system is actually wearing the trays 22 hours a day.
The next option is Six Month Smiles. While this system does utilize brackets, I like the peace of mind that there is no choice but to wear them. Just ask me how I know the difference between the two. It's because I'm the world's biggest non-compliant patient. I am currently in Six Month Smiles to correct crowded teeth after not wearing my retainer for years. The cool part is is that no one even notices I'm wearing them! The brackets are clear, the wire is white and very cosmetic. The best part is that we can move the teeth fast and predictably. This is also cheaper than Invisalign. Both systems have pros and cons. The best part is is that you can choose what suits you and your goals the best.
Veneers: Porcelain veneers are a beautiful solution to cosmetic concerns. I usually have a big discussion with patients and plan ahead. Veneers are a good solution when the tooth size and structure are compromised. One does need to remember that this is an irreversible procedure but the major advantages are the short treatment time (usually 3 weeks) and the long term stability. Veneers are an investment but a worthy one but don’t use it as a “quick fix” solution if there are other concerns that need to be addressed.