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Wellness Wednesday: cosmetic dentistry versus regular care

Posted at 8:30 AM, Jun 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-09 10:30:13-04

IDAHO — As the world continues to open up and vaccinated people can remove their face masks, they might have questions about improving their smiles through cosmetic dentistry.

Dr. Jeremy Brown, owner of and practicing dentist at Boise Dental Arts, says there are differences to note between your regular dental appointments and cosmetic dentistry.

"Cosmetic dentistry generally includes any of the extra dental work that's done to improve the smile, your teeth, the shade, color, your gums, your bite, things like that," says Dr. Brown. "Good oral hygiene, brushing, and flossing is important to the overall health and appearance of your smile, but there are additional things that can be done to the color or shape of your teeth, alignment, whitening, straightening, veneers, a gum lift, and a few other items as well."

Dr. Brown says patient oral health is a top priority, but they want everyone to be happy and confident with their smiles.

Many people may turn to DIY whitening kits they find at a store or while scrolling social media, but Dr. Brown cautions against taking that route.

"Generally speaking, they're not the best thing to do. Using American Dental Association-approved products is okay to do at home, but we want to caution patients about using whitening pens, charcoal scrubs, oil pulling. A lot of those things can be more harmful to your teeth and actually do a lot of damage that sometimes can be irreversible."

Dr. Brown says at-home straightening kits can also cause damage to your teeth by moving them too quickly. That can end up costing you more money to fix them professionally.

Before you do anything to improve your smile, Dr. Brown says start by taking a trip to your regular dentist.

"See what options are available to you. Dentists, along with the American Dental Association, have done a lot of research on products, and a lot of us dentists can send you home with custom-made whitening trays with professional whitening gel. We can discuss ways to straighten those teeth as far as braces or clear liners. Obviously, the best thing you can do is get those regular dentist visits in."

To learn more about cosmetic dentistry or to find a dentist, click here.