Cosmetic Dentistry

What Happens if I Stop Wearing My Retainers?

Man smiling outside and looking sideways while texting on his phoneWe understand that it is not always second-nature to remember to wear your retainer. However, too many people ignore or simply forget the specific rules regarding their retainer, and may even abandon their retainers altogether. Often, these patients believe their retainer is just a precaution, and that their teeth will stay in place without it—but these individuals may find out soon enough that their teeth have moved back to the position they were in before orthodontic treatment. This is a frustrating discovery that makes many patients feel they have wasted time and money on the entire process, but it can be avoided by following the guidelines of retainer wear and care. 

So how do you prioritise wearing and taking care of your retainer? Concentrating on the final outcome is a good place to start. Retainers are often considered the most important part of the orthodontic procedure because they are meant to finalise the work that has already been done. After you have worn your retainer for the directed amount of time, you should have a straighter, more beautiful smile to look forward to, making the process well worth it.

For those who have never worn one, a retainer is a custom-made appliance designed to keep your teeth in position after your braces, Invisalign® aligners, or other orthodontic appliances come out. After certain procedures, patients may be advised to wear the retainer for a minimum of four to six months. Other times, patients may be instructed to wear them for the rest of their lives, at least at night. The amount of time varies, but one thing is for certain: wearing your retainer as directed is essential if you want to maintain the new alignment of your teeth and bite.

Taking good care of your retainer is just as important as wearing it! When caring for your retainer, remember to always:

  • Brush it thoroughly with a toothbrush to keep it clean
  • Gently take it out when done wearing it each time
  • Hold it carefully to avoid cracks or breaks
  • Keep it in its case when not in use 

If you make a concerted effort to wear and preserve your retainer, it’s not as hard, or as tedious, as it may appear. Our team at The Paddington Dental Surgery is here to make the entire process as smooth as possible for you. If you have gone too long without wearing your retainer and have noticed your teeth shifting, you may be a good candidate for Invisalign. In addition, porcelain veneers can often be used for those with mild misalignment concerns. For more information, please feel free to contact us today!

How to Prevent Teeth Staining

Do you miss how white and vibrant your teeth used to be? Teeth naturally change colour as we age due to an accumulation of stains and overall usage. While there is no clear-cut solution for avoiding teeth stains, there are lifestyle habits that can help slow their development. If you suffer from teeth discolouration, here are a few suggestions from our dental team at The Paddington Dental Surgery:

  • Practice good oral hygiene. Make sure to brush and floss regularly, use mouthwash, and schedule dental cleanings every six months.
  • Refrain from smoking or chewing tobacco. Tobacco is made up of tar and nicotine, which can absorb into the pores of your teeth causing them to turn yellow or brown.
  • Avoid certain foods and sauces. Berries, beets, tomato sauce, and soy sauce can contribute to discolouration. Acidic foods, such as citrus fruits and vinegar, can erode the enamel and cause teeth staining.
  • Use a straw when you drink beverages that tend to stain. Using a straw when drinking coffee, tea, and cola can help preserve the whiteness of your teeth. You can also refrain from drinking these beverages entirely.
  • Stop potential tooth damage. Use a mouthguard if you grind your teeth. Micro-cracks from teeth grinding can cause a darker appearance on biting surfaces. Other cracks caused by a fall or injury can be susceptible to staining. Cracked or broken teeth must be treated by a dental professional to prevent damage from worsening.
  • Talk to your doctor about medications. Medication, such as tetracycline antibiotics, can cause teeth staining. Consult a physician about alternative options if you want to avoid this side effect, but do not stop taking prescribed medicine without their approval.

Some degree of teeth staining is to be expected over time, but with proper maintenance and lifestyle changes, it can be minimised. If you are looking for treatment options to address discolouration, you may be a good candidate for teeth whitening or porcelain veneers. We offer in-office and at-home bleaching solutions to lighten the natural colour of your teeth. Individuals with severe cases of discolouration, such as tetracycline stains, may be recommended a strong bleaching treatment called KöR® Whitening or porcelain veneers. Veneers are thin shells of porcelain placed over each tooth to help brighten and improve its appearance. Patients should still stick to the general rules (no smoking, minimise staining drinks, etc.) to prolong the benefits of any teeth staining treatment. It is best to consult a dentist to discuss which procedure can deliver optimal results for you.

Follow our tips to help you achieve a whiter and brighter smile. If you would like more information about our teeth staining treatments, please contact us today to schedule a consultation

4 Tips for Finding a Cosmetic Dentist

Cosmetic dental treatments have the potential to transform the look of your smile. Keep in mind, however, that your results are only as good as the dentist performing your treatment. This is why our team at The Paddington Dental Surgery encourages those looking for a cosmetic dentist to do their research before committing. To find a qualified professional for your dental care—whether you are interested in teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, or a complete smile makeover—make sure you evaluate the following:

  1. Consider their credentials and dental experience. In addition to earning their dental degree, some dentists have undergone additional trainings that may indicate they have advanced expertise. Seeking a dentist who has several years of dental experience can also ensure you are receiving care from a qualified professional.
  2. Read online reviews from their patients. Learn what others have to say about a dentist by looking at various review websites, such as Google. This can help you get to know the practice and understand what you can expect from your experience, should you choose them.
  3. Make sure you feel comfortable with them. The best dentists are not just skilled at what they do; they are honest and show genuine care for their patients’ wellbeing. Your dentist should make you feel at-ease during your visit, helping you know you can trust them.
  4. View before-and-after pictures of their other patients. Seeing what a dentist has helped a person achieve through various dental procedures can give you an idea of the type of results you can obtain, as well. Browse through their before-and-after photos to see if their patients have natural-looking smile enhancements.

If you’re interested in undergoing cosmetic dentistry, contact The Paddington Dental Surgery to learn if our team may be right for your needs.

How Can Dental Treatments Make Me Look Younger?

ModelWhen it comes to rejuvenating one’s facial appearance, most people don’t think of going to their dentist. However, with the right dental treatment plan tailored to your specific needs, you can address common signs of aging and turn back the clock. At The Paddington Dental Surgery, our dental team offers a variety of solutions that can enhance the look of your smile. For patients wanting to achieve a younger-looking facial appearance, a dental facelift can reverse unwanted changes caused by aging. Using porcelain veneers, the dental facelift process can address concerns such as the following:

  • Thinning lips
  • Stained, chipped, or cracked teeth
  • Overbite or underbite
  • Hollow-looking cheeks
  • Wrinkles

By enhancing tooth size and shape, veneers can help restore youthful facial contours that have been affected by lax facial muscles and worn-down teeth. To learn more about the dental facelift and how it can help you reverse the effects of aging with incredibly natural-looking results, please contact us to schedule an appointment.

Enjoy a White Christmas with a Brighter Smile

Dreaming of a white Christmas? With all the parties and special events that occur around the holidays, having a beautiful smile is on many patients’ minds. Teeth whitening can freshen up your look instantly and give you greater confidence as you begin a new year. If you’re bothered by stains, discolouration, or dingy-looking teeth, let our skilled team help you enhance your smile. We offer the most advanced teeth-whitening systems available, including ZOOM!® and KÖR®. Furthermore, our in-office procedures can provide immediate results, or you can choose our professional at-home treatment for more gradual brightening.

Look your best on holiday cards and in festive photos with a healthy-looking white smile. Talk to our friendly and knowledgeable team members about your cosmetic goals today.

What to Expect in a Smile Makeover

A Smile Makeover is designed to help each patient achieve their cosmetic goals when they have more than one dental concern they would like to address. At The Paddington Dental Surgery, we tailor this procedure to suit the needs and desired outcome of each person. With so much versatility, many patients wonder what the “typical” Smile Makeover is like. The truth is, it can vary. That said, there are a few common experiences for most patients.

All Smile Makeovers begin with a consultation. During that appointment, our experienced dentist will evaluate your dental needs, discuss your concerns, and develop a customised plan that includes the treatments that can help you obtain a beautiful and healthy smile.

In most cases, patients will need at least two office visits to complete their Smile Makeover, with several more often necessary depending on which procedures they select. For instance, teeth whitening can be completed in a single visit, and porcelain veneers usually can be completed in two. Invisalign®, however, generally takes several months to see the final result. The number of techniques used and the complexity of your program will inform the projected treatment length.

As with any treatment, we want you to feel confident and informed from day one. Therefore, we will review the expected timeframe of your plan with you during your initial consultation. Any changes to that estimate will be discussed with you as well, should the need arise. After all, when it comes to a Smile Makeover, you’re the boss.

Want to learn more about this procedure? Contact us today to schedule an in-person consultation.

What Is a Smile Facelift?

We use a number of different terms to refer to our customised procedures, including Smile Makeover, full mouth reconstruction, and Smile Facelift. Each treatment is designed to achieve a specific set of goals, and the right one for you will vary based on your unique characteristics and desired outcome. During your initial consultation, our team can help you determine if one of these procedures is right for you.

A Smile Facelift is a treatment that can rejuvenate a patient’s appearance without the need for cosmetic injectables. In addition to enhancing the look of the smile, a Smile Facelift can also revitalize the face by addressing underlying issues within the oral structures. The primary technique used in a Smile Facelift is the placement of porcelain dental veneers. This method can improve a wide range of dental concerns, including staining, gaps, chips, discolouration, asymmetry, and more. Veneers can also be used to add length and fullness to the teeth, helping to compensate for changes in facial volume that occur with the natural process of aging.

If this procedure sounds like something that could help you obtain your goals, talk to us today to schedule a consultation.

What Are the Benefits and Limitations of Porcelain Veneers?

If you’re bothered by cosmetic dental issues, you have many options at your disposal to enhance the appearance of your smile. One of the most popular treatments is porcelain dental veneers. These innovative “shells” can be used to cover up imperfections and achieve a gorgeous smile. Even with a multitude of benefits, it’s important to understand the limitations of porcelain veneers to best determine if they are right for you. Porcelain veneers can address:

  • Chips, cracks, and minor gaps
  • Stains and discolouration
  • Worn-down teeth
  • Uneven or asymmetrical teeth
  • Mild misalignment

Porcelain veneers, however, typically cannot:

  • Correct significant misalignment or large gaps – Invisalign® may be a better choice
  • Provide additional structural support for damaged teeth – dental crowns can help restore a significantly damaged tooth
  • Protect from tooth decay – fluoride treatments and fillings are potential options

You should also know that porcelain veneers are usually not reversible. Regular brushing, flossing, and routine dental care can help keep your veneers and natural teeth looking and functioning their best. During your initial consultation, our team will go over the pros and cons of this treatment so you can decide if it’s appropriate for you. We also offer a broad range of cosmetic and restorative procedures should you choose another approach. We are here to help you obtain the smile you’ve always wanted.

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