After braces, you have every right to enjoy your new smile you spent your time and money on. Investing in your healthiest, most beautiful smile, however, can continue after you get your braces off. Orthodontists offer options like filling and shaping so you can keep refining your smile.
Continue reading to learn about teeth filling after braces and shaping, including what you can expect from your appointment, what the benefits of the treatments are, and anything else you need to know.
Want to find out if you or your child needs braces? Visit Reese Orthodontics in Charleston, SC for leading orthodontic care.
What is Teeth Reshaping?
Teeth reshaping or contouring allows an orthodontist to change the shape of your teeth. This is done to file down the edges of sharp or chipped teeth, to help teeth line up evenly, or to change the length and surface area of a tooth once it has settled in its new position after braces have come off.
The enamel on the surface of your tooth can be “sanded” with special instruments that allow your doctor to alter the shape and surface of your smile. Here’s what you can expect from a reshaping appointment:
- X-rays help your orthodontist see the health of your teeth before beginning the reshaping process.
- Preparation involves marking the teeth that will be worked on and planning the reshaping or contouring that will be needed.
- Contouring is the actual process of grinding teeth to sculpt them into more comfortable and uniform shapes.
- Polishing is the final step and smooths the tooth out to make sure there are no new edges.
The whole reshaping process should take around half an hour. The process is painless and does not require the patient to be numb.
What is Teeth Filling?
In this case, teeth filling does not refer to cavities, though your orthodontist will check for them after your braces come off. Teeth filling is a process complementary to teeth reshaping where, instead of using instruments to reshape the tooth enamel itself, your orthodontist will lay down a bonding agent and resin on a misshapen tooth that can then be sculpted as a replacement for missing enamel.
Filling or bonding gives your orthodontist the ability to fill gaps in your teeth or add to their dimensions to make them more uniform. After your braces are removed, your teeth will be in newly straightened positions they may not have been in before. They may not line up perfectly or may have imperfections, but teeth filling can address these issues.
The steps to teeth filling include:
- The preparation step, which involves coating the tooth in a bonding agent that hardens and can then be sanded down to serve as a foundation for the application of the bonding material.
- The application step, which applies a soft resin that can be shaped and recolored to match your tooth, and then left to dry and harden.
- The adjustment step, which begins with a light your orthodontist will use to harden the resin. They will then check your bite and make additional adjustments if needed. The whole process should take less than an hour.
After your braces come off, you may want additional procedures to capitalize on your new smile. Checking for cavities is always good since no matter how careful you are, braces make brushing and flossing more difficult and can lead to plaque buildup.
Another common post-braces procedure is teeth whitening, which uses a gel made from peroxide to scrub out tooth stains and make your smile sparkle. Heavy coffee and tea drinkers, as well as smokers, often have teeth that can benefit from whitening.
But braces are another way for teeth to become stained and discolored, especially if the patient was lax on their orthodontist’s diet recommendations. Coffee, soda, and other sugary drinks can stain teeth behind braces, a fact that may not become clear until after they come off.
Choose Reese Orthodontics
If you’re an adult who is considering braces, you need professional advice on your treatment and payment options. For orthodontic treatments in Charleston, SC, Reese Orthodontics offers the latest technology and treatment plans. Our advanced and comfortable orthodontic treatments can be customized to suit your needs. A consultation with Reese Orthodontics includes scans, a comprehensive exam, and a conversation with the orthodontist to discover which treatment options are right for you.
Schedule an appointment with us today to stay ahead of your oral health and receive the best possible treatment in your area.