We don’t know if it’s the pandemic or just boredom, but we’ve been seeing people do some pretty strange things with their teeth as of late. From “accessorizing” their smile to attempting to do things only a dentist or orthodontist should ever do, the lengths some people will go to to achieve a certain look leaves us a little perplexed. The problem with many of these “trends,” is that they can have unintentional consequences. For example, attempting to make any adjustments to the spacing of your teeth without the oversight of a professional can create problems in your jawline. DIY may seem like the way to go, however, should things go sideways (and they almost always seem to), the costs associated with correcting the problem could blow the bank! With that in mind, today your Raleigh Dentist will share a few strange things people are doing with their teeth and why they could pose an even bigger problem.
1. Mind the Gap
Celebrities such as Madonna, Michael Strahan and Anna Paquin are known for their gapped-tooth smile. This gap between the front two teeth is called diastema. Most people with this gap will seek professional help to close it. However, we’ve recently seen a few cases where individuals asked a dentist to remove some enamel from in between their two front teeth to create a gap for cosmetic reasons.
While we can appreciate the commitment anyone might have to achieving a certain look, this particular procedure is problematic and your Raleigh dentist will not entertain the request for cosmetic reasons alone.
In order to achieve a wider gap between your teeth, there are a few directions you can go. One approach is to use orthodontic appliances to spread those two front teeth apart, but only if all of your other teeth are moved to avoid overcrowding on the side or back teeth. This approach can be quite time consuming and most orthodontists won’t perform the task.
Another approach is to tattoo part of your teeth for the visual effect of a gap. This particular approach is semi-permanent as it can be removed. Finally, you can choose to shave off enamel and reduce the size of an otherwise healthy tooth. This approach is very permanent and can only be corrected with veneers or bonding. While your Raleigh dentist works with veneers and bonding on a regular basis, she advises against this type of enamel reduction.
2. The Vampire Effect
The jury is still out as to whether or not vampires and creatures with fangs really exist (we are no experts in this manner), but we have noticed people choosing to have their teeth bonded or reshaped to resemble fangs. Blame the influx of vampire-related content if you must, but your Raleigh dentist would be remiss if she didn’t warn you of the problems associated with this trend.
The process of bonding isn’t such a bad thing, assuming that no enamel has been removed and only composite has been bonded to the teeth. In fact, the process is reversible. However, altering or reshaping a healthy tooth for no justifiable dental or medical reason isn’t a great idea. Your enamel is already sensitive, and when you reshape your enamel into fangs or whatever else you have in mind, your teeth can become even more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. Your teeth can also become more prone to decay which can lead to more cavities. To reverse the treatment can be quite costly.
4. Bejeweled Teeth
We’ve witnessed countless musicians and celebrities accessorize their teeth with removable “grills” over the years. From gold and jewels to diamonds, we’ve seen it all. However, the latest trend has people using DIY kits at home to bejewel their teeth. While we love a good DIY approach to refinishing furniture, gluing anything to your teeth doesn’t sound like a good idea, even if the kit claims to be removable.
While this look might be fun for Halloween, wearing anything on your upper or lower teeth that your Raleigh dentist or orthodontist didn’t install, for a long period of time can be problematic. Braces make cleaning your teeth a challenge, and we find that people who wear “grills” rarely clean them. These types of accessories tend to attract bacteria which results in cavities. A little bling could be cool, but not if you also have cavities.
Dr. Katherine E Garrett DDS, PA knows for a fact that the best accessory you can wear is a gorgeous healthy smile. Fashion trends will come and go, but your beautiful smile should last your entire life! To keep it looking its best, give us a call at (919) 845-4955 to schedule an appointment. We’d love to provide dental care for your entire family and new patients are always welcome.