Have you always wanted the perfect smile, but no matter how vigorously you stick to a flossing and brushing regimen, you’re not quite happy with it? You’re not alone — millions of Americans are unhappy with their smile and want to make it better. To accomplish this, dental patients often turn to dental veneers, which can take care of a slew of problems that many people are suffering from.
If you’ve been considering the application of veneers as a way to improve your teeth and overall appearance, you’re in luck because that’s exactly what we’ll be discussing today.
A Little History Lesson
People tend to believe that dental veneers are a relatively new concept, but the truth is that their history started back in 1928. A movie was filming in California that called for the temporary alteration of the appearance of an actor’s teeth, but none of the current techniques looked good enough for the director. The producers hired a local dentist, Charles Pincus, to develop a practical and effective way to do this, and Dr. Pincus came up with the veneers. Nearly a decade later, he expanded on his invention and fabricated acrylic veneers. At the time, they were very temporary due to a lack of adhesion, but luckily for us, these dental applications have evolved nicely over the years.
So … What Exactly are Dental Veneers?
Quite simply, a dental veneer is a thin shell that is bonded to the front of your teeth in order to achieve a natural, attractive appearance. They allow for a cosmetic use while fixing teeth that have been chipped, stained, misaligned, etc. They can even fix the appearance of abnormally spaced teeth.
Dental veneers are created by a dental technician in a laboratory environment. There are two types of veneers — composite resin and porcelain. Composite resin is a mixture of plastic and fine glass particles used for fillings, whereas a porcelain veneer consists of … well, porcelain, obviously. Some people are hesitant of porcelain because they feel that this material is brittle. While that is true, once firmly bonded to your teeth with a resin cement, this material typically becomes very durable and resistant to damage.
How Long Do Veneers Last?
Whether you choose composite resin or porcelain veneers, it is important to realize that neither will last forever. Many patients choose composite resin because they’re a less expensive choice. The downside is that they only last between four and eight years. Porcelain veneers, which can cost several times more than composite, will often last up to 20 years, though the average is between 10 and 15 years.
Part of achieving this longevity, of course, is determined by the care you take. Many patients believe that they no longer need to care for their teeth as well as they had in the past because now they are “protected” by the veneers. This is simply not true. Veneers must be cared for in the same way as your teeth. This means flossing and brushing at least twice a day, in addition to a cleaning every six months. Stick with this maintenance schedule and your veneers are more likely to last for quite a while, especially the porcelain ones.
Whether the desire for dental veneers or other dental procedures is due to a problem with your teeth or more of a cosmetic nature, you have plenty of options to choose from that will give you the smile you’ve always wanted. The professionals at the offices of Bruce C. McArthur, DDS are always available to field any questions that you may have, and we’ll make each dental visit as nice and comfortable as possible. Contact us today with any questions about procedures or dental care!
As adults, it’s easy to recognize the need for good dental health and we can take steps necessary to improve it. Children, on the other hand, don’t have a real sense of consequence. They don’t realize that not caring for their teeth in the proper way will lead to problems later on in life, maybe even before they hit their teens or adolescence.
This is where you come in. As a parent, it is your duty to ensure that your child’s dental health is a priority, from the time before his or her teeth start coming in until your little one has a full set of chompers, and even beyond. This can save them pain, frustration, and yes, even money in their later years. Unfortunately, many parents are unaware of the steps they should take in the first few years of a child’s life in regards to dental health. That’s why we’ve compiled a few tips that you can use to improve your child’s dental health right now.
Clean Your Infant’s Mouth
Many parents don’t realize that you can actually begin prepping for a life of good dental health even before your child’s teeth have begun to come in. That’s because even though they lack teeth, a child’s gums need to be cared for. You can clean an infant’s gums by gently running a damp washcloth over them on a daily basis. This will help wipe away bacteria and prevent deterioration and harm to the gums.
Get That First Toothbrush Early
As soon as your child’s teeth begin to come in, don’t hesitate. Go out to the store and purchase his or her first toothbrush (you can frame it later, if you wish, but please scrub it clean first). You want to start with off with a soft-bristle brush since an infant’s mouth is so sensitive. Gently clean the gums with the brush and plain water. That’s all you need.
Plan Your Child’s First Dental Visit
The reason to schedule your child’s first dental visit at a very early age — around the time of their first birthday is perfect — is two-fold. First, doing so promotes good dental health, something that you should continue to follow through with in the future. Second, it’s no secret that many people are afraid of the dentist. This is especially true with children who don’t begin dental visits until they’re older because they equate such visits with pain or discomfort. Starting them off early can alleviate these fears quite effectively.
Ensure the Use of Toothpaste
For the first couple of years, you’ll be brushing your child’s teeth. When most kids reach the age of two, they should able to spit on their own with no problem. This is when you should take advantage of their newfound skills and teach them how to brush their teeth themselves using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. However, you will still want to supervise your child closely until they’re approximately five years old.
Commit This to Memory: 2-2-2
The “2-2-2 rule” is an easy way to ensure that your child is on his or her way to good dental health. First, your child should be flossing and brushing two times a day. Next, brushing should last for two whole minutes for the best results. If this seems too long for them, have your child brush along to a two-minute song and the time will fly by. And finally, you should be taking your child to a dentist two times a year. If you follow this simple 2-2-2 rule, you’ll definitely seem improvements in your child’s dental health.
It is never too early to begin educating your child on the importance of dental health. Starting early will not only prevent potentially harmful problems with their teeth and gums in the future, it will eventually teach them good flossing and brushing habits. If you’d like more information about dental health or need to schedule an appointment, contact the office of Bruce C. McArthur, DDS.