Life After Braces: Four Cosmetic Dental Procedures To Perfect Your Smile

Getting your braces off is an exciting milestone for your dental health, but you may find that there is still more work to be done for your smile to look its best. After your braces are removed, talk to your cosmetic dentist about available procedures you can use to improve your smile even more. Here are just some of the many options you can consider.


Tooth whitening isn't possible while your braces are on, as the procedure can't reach the space underneath your braces brackets. Once your braces are off, you can use tooth whitening to brighten your smile. You can use whitening toothpaste or whitening strips at home, but your dentist may recommend professional whitening treatments. These are performed in the office, and the appointment can take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. You may need more than one treatment to achieve the color you want.


Dental contouring and tooth reshaping can change the appearance of a tooth that is slightly crooked or misshapen. Your dentist will use a sanding instrument to reshape the tooth, and when the tooth has the desired look, he or she will polish and smooth out the surface for a finished appearance. You can use contouring on its own, or it can be used in conjunction with dental bonding to create a balanced, beautiful look for your smile. It's important to do this after your braces come off so your teeth are in the proper alignment. Your dentist can then determine where and how to contour.


Dental bonding can be used to make a small tooth match the size of the rest of your teeth, and it can also be used to repair a cracked or chipped tooth. Once your braces are off, your dentist can examine each of your teeth and determine which might need bonding. Your dentist may contour some teeth and add bonding to the ones that need a bit of extra work. You may want to have this procedure performed before tooth whitening to ensure a perfect color match. Your dentist will use resin materials and try to match the bonding material as close as possible to the color of your teeth. The resin is then applied to the tooth and molded to achieve the desired look.

Porcelain Dental Veneers

Porcelain dental veneers come in handy for a number of reasons. If your teeth are stained from the braces, particularly if you have white spots from your braces that can't be removed, veneers can be applied to give your teeth the even, white color you want. Veneers are custom-fitted shells that are applied to your teeth, and they can cover up both imperfections in shape and color. If your teeth are too severely cracked or chipped for bonding and contouring, your dentist may recommend veneers as an alternative.

Talk to your cosmetic dentist about the different options available to you, and consider these different ways to improve your smile.