Truths and myths about dental aesthetics

Many people look for a perfect smile. Even if the fundamental thing is to have a healthy mouth, more and more people care about the aesthetics of their smile. Undoubtedly, the demand of this type of treatments has notably increased, but many myths exist on dental aesthetics and we should state them.

A lot of disinformation exists concerning aesthetic dentistry. In Internet articles with not professional information proliferate and if we add a growing obsession to have the perfect smile, we are facing many cases in which patients have treatments withouth medical or scientific basis and out of an adequate professional control. Doubtful methods that expose teeth and gums to dangerous and harmful therapies.

Most common dental aesthetic treatments

The dental aesthetics treatments carried out under supervision of an odontologist at our clinic are:

  • Tooth whitening: as Dr. Lidia Zarzuela explains in the second edition of “Your Dental Guide” (Spanish), tooth whitening is an aesthetic treatment for which we eliminate the external spots produced by certain habits as smoking and our diet and with which we grant and return the whiteness and the luminosity to teeth. Tooth whitening is an aesthetic conservative treatment, without risks and effective. There are several treatments of tooth whitening, here more information.
  • Composite veneers: composite veneers are indicated in cases where the teeth have irregular shapes, changes in size, and there are black spaces between teeth. The treatment consists of sticking a material similar in colour on to the tooth to achieve the right morphology. This does not require any sculpting. No anaesthetic is necessary since this is a completely painless and reversible procedure that will enable us to make any changes over time. In this way, we succeed in giving the teeth the shape and size we want, simply and unaggressively.
  • Porcelain veneers: porcelain veneers consist of thin sheets of porcelain made to measure in the laboratory, which are cemented over the teeth to give them the size, shape and colour desired. Several visits are needed, as the thickness of the tooth is first slightly filed down; measurements are then taken and sent to the dental technician to then cement the veneer over the tooth surface. Unlike the case of composite veneers, this process is irreversible.

Myths about dental aesthetics

Myths about dental aestheticsThis way so, and once we have clarified which are the professional dental aesthetic tretaments which don’t harm our oral health, let’s indicate and clarify some of the myths about dental aesthetics:

  • Our teeth are white: false. Every person has a different tonality, influenced by the genetics of each of us.
  • Tooth whitening for anyone: even if tooth whitening is a simple treatment, it can not always be carried out in all patients. The above mentioned procedure rises slightly dental sensitivity, and probably could not be carried out in patients with hypersensitivity. Veneers are their alternative.
  • Dental hygiene is not related to dental aesthetics: beside being basic for a good oral health, hygiene helps to maintain the tonality of the teeth.
  • A dental aesthetic treatment outside the dental clinic: in case we have not made it clear, no professional of any beauty center can conduct this type of treatments. These procedures must be always carried out in a dental clinic and under the supervision of an odontologist. In some beauty centers, substances such as as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide have been used with no contol, irreversibly affecting the enamel, the dentine and the dental pulp.
  • Bicarbonate and lemon whiten the teeth: under no circumstances use them as home remedy. Bicarbonate is highly corrosive and abrasive and can provoke dental sensibility problems. On the other hand, the acidity of the lemon progressively damages the enamel, provoking a major exposure to tooth decay and fractures.

An example of imprudence

Few months ago, El País newspaper echoed the pseudotips about dental aesthetics that a Mexican blogger was giving. The influencer is called Yuya, a 23-year-old young woman followed by more than 17 millions of people in Instagram and with 8 million followers in Twitter. As we say, the young Mexican lady decided to go into dental aesthetics in one of her videos shared with her followers.

As the mentioned newspaper mentions, “the first of her domestic tips to have a radiant smile consists of brushing the teeth with some kind of paste made of coconut oil, mint essence and bicarbonate. The second one consists of a rinsing based on water and vinegar. The third one, and possibly the most spreaded one, consists of brushing teeth with a paste made of lemon and bicarbonate. The fourth and the fifth recommend to rub teeth with fruits, crushed strawberries or the skin of a banana”.

Mitos sobre estética dental: la imprudencia de una bloguera mexicanaAll the whitening “methods”proposed by the instagramer originate the erosion of dental enamel, which is eroded by friction or by acid assault because of, for example, elements as the bicarbonate. Rubbing this substance against our denture, the only thing that is provoked is the wear of the enamel, something that never regenerates. If in addition, we rub the teeth with lemon juice, vinegar or with any rich fruit in acids, we will be promoting the disappearance of the enamel. And Yuya, who is not an odontologist, proposes ways of eroding the irreparable enamel.

Therefore, once we have made clear the myths about dental aesthetics, we remind that if someone wants to improve the aesthetics of his/her mouth, you’d better visit a professional dentist. Make an appointment at Clinic Ortiz-Vigón.

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