Family Cosmetic Dentist Blog
Posts for: March, 2019
Sometimes it seems that appearances count for everything—especially in Hollywood. But just recently, Lonnie Chaviz, the 10-year-old actor who plays young Randall on the hit TV show This Is Us, delivered a powerful message about accepting differences in body image. And the whole issue was triggered by negative social media comments about his smile.
Lonnie has a noticeable diastema—that is, a gap between his two front teeth; this condition is commonly seen in children, but is less common in adults. There are plenty of celebrities who aren’t bothered by the excess space between their front teeth, such as Michael Strahan, Lauren Hutton and Vanessa Paradis. However, there are also many people who choose to close the gap for cosmetic or functional reasons.
Unfortunately, Lonnie had been on the receiving end of unkind comments about the appearance of his smile. But instead of getting angry, the young actor posted a thoughtful reply via Instagram video, in which he said: “I could get my gap fixed. Braces can fix this, but like, can you fix your heart, though?”
Lonnie is raising an important point: Making fun of how someone looks shows a terrible lack of compassion. Besides, each person’s smile is uniquely their own, and getting it “fixed” is a matter of personal choice. It’s true that in most circumstances, if the gap between the front teeth doesn’t shrink as you age and you decide you want to close it, orthodontic appliances like braces can do the job. Sometimes, a too-big gap can make it more difficult to eat and to pronounce some words. In other situations, it’s simply a question of aesthetics—some like it; others would prefer to live without it.
There’s a flip side to this issue as well. When teeth need to be replaced, many people opt to have their smile restored just the way it was, rather than in some “ideal” manner. That could mean that their dentures are specially fabricated with a space between the front teeth, or the crowns of their dental implants are spaced farther apart than they normally would be. For these folks, the “imperfection” is so much a part of their unique identity that changing it just seems wrong.
So if you’re satisfied with the way your smile looks, all you need to do is keep up with daily brushing and flossing, and come in for regular checkups and cleanings to keep it healthy and bright. If you’re unsatisfied, ask us how we could help make it better. And if you need tooth replacement, be sure to talk to us about all of your options—teeth that are regular and “Hollywood white;” teeth that are natural-looking, with minor variations in color and spacing; and teeth that look just like the smile you’ve always had.
Because when it comes to your smile, we couldn’t agree more with what Lonnie Chaviz said at the end of his video: “Be who you want to be. Do what you want to do. Do you. Be you. Believe in yourself.”
If you have questions about cosmetic dentistry, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”
After your son or daughter's dental exam, you expect to hear about cavities, poor bites or other dental problems. But your dentist might suggest a different kind of problem you didn't expect—an eating disorder.
It's not a fluke occurrence—a dental exam is a common way bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa come to light. That's because the teeth are often damaged by the behaviors of a patient with an eating disorder.
Most of this damage occurs because of purging, the practice of induced vomiting after eating. During vomiting stomach acid can enter the mouth and "wash" against the back of the teeth. After repeated episodes, the acid dissolves the mineral content of tooth enamel and causes it to erode. There's also a tell-tale pattern with eating disorders: because the tongue partially shields the back of the lower teeth while purging, the lower teeth may show less enamel erosion than the upper.
Hygiene practices, both negligent and too aggressive, can accelerate erosion. Anorexics often neglect basic grooming and hygiene like brushing and flossing, which increases the likelihood of dental disease. Bulimia patients, on the other hand, can be fastidious about their hygiene. They're more likely to brush immediately after purging, which can cause tiny bits of the enamel immediately softened by the acid wash to slough off.
In dealing with a family member's eating disorder, you should consider both a short and long-term approach to protect their dental health. In the sort-term the goal is to treat the current damage and minimize the extent of any future harm. In that regard, encourage them to rinse with water (mixed optionally with baking soda to help neutralize acid) after purging, and wait an hour before brushing. This will give saliva in the mouth a chance to fully neutralize any remaining acid. Your dentist may also recommend a sodium fluoride mouth rinse to help strengthen their tooth enamel.
For the long-term, your goal should be to help your loved one overcome this potentially life-threatening condition through counseling and therapy. To find out more about treatment resources near you, visit the National Eating Disorders Association website at nationaleatingdisorders.org. Taking steps to treat an eating disorder could save not only your loved one's dental health, but also their life.
If you would like more information on eating disorders and dental health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bulimia, Anorexia & Oral Health.”
If you are not satisfied with your smile due to cosmetic imperfections, you can improve your smile with dental veneers. A way to completely transform the appearance of your smile, dental veneers are placed over problem teeth in order to conceal stains, discolorations, cracks, and other imperfections. At Cornerstone Dental Group, Dr. Ron Solomon and Dr. Angela Burleson-Ott are your dentists for cosmetic dentistry in Cincinnati, OH.
What are Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers are a cosmetic dentistry option for improving the appearance of teeth with certain types of flaws, such as discolorations, cracks, or rough surfaces. They are extremely thin porcelain covers that conceal imperfect teeth by being cemented securely in place. Once in place, dental veneers give your teeth a flawless new look so that you can enjoy the smile you have always wanted.
What Dental Veneers Can Do
You can improve your smile in several ways with dental veneers. Whether you wish to conceal a stained tooth or improve the shape of one that is misshapen, dental veneers can help. They make it possible to dramatically improve the appearance of teeth with the following cosmetic concerns:
- Oddly shaped
- Chips or cracks
- Stains or discolorations
- Small gaps or spaces
- Rough or uneven surfaces
In addition to concealing a variety of cosmetic flaws, there are other benefits associated with dental veneers, as well. One such benefit is how natural they look. Dental veneers are made from porcelain, which has a striking resemblance to natural tooth enamel. Furthermore, dental veneers are custom made for each patient to achieve the ideal size, shape, and color for the best fit and most natural look possible. Finally, a major benefit of dental veneers is that placement is permanent so you will not have to worry about your veneers slipping out of place.
Interested? Give our Cincinnati Office a Call!
You can improve your smile with dental veneers. They look completely natural and can conceal many different types of cosmetic concerns. To find out if dental veneers are right for you, schedule an appointment with Dr. Solomon or Dr. Burleson-Ott by calling Cornerstone Dental Group, your Cincinnati cosmetic dentistry practice, at (513) 631-8920.