Cosmetic dentistry has redefined the way people look at their teeth. Now, more than ever before, the appearance of teeth can be altered and improved by a cosmetic dentist to give you the ideal smile you have always dreamed of.
It should come as no surprise to most people that appearance-conscious teens would be quick to jump on this trend. Younger and younger teens are starting to see cosmetic dental procedures, such as teeth whitening as a quick and easy way to brighten their grin.
It is important to remember that although many cosmetic dentistry procedures carry few risks to adults, teens may be at a higher risk for certain complications and may need to consider other age-specific factors.
Teeth Whitening for Teens
Teeth whitening is by far the most commonly performed cosmetic dental procedure. In addition to professional in-chair whitening, an almost limitless variety of over-the-counter teeth whitening products are available at most drug stores.
If your teen is considering a teeth whitening dental treatment, you should have them speak with your dentist about what products best meet their needs. A dentist will also be able to ensure that your teen is properly instructed on using a teeth whitening system if they choose an at-home treatment.
It is recommended that teens only undergo a whitening treatment if all of their permanent teeth are fully grown in. If teeth have not fully emerged from the gum line, whitening may cause a two-tone effect once the teeth are completely exposed.
The Academy of General Dentistry suggests that teens should not use teeth whitening treatments until they are at least 14 years old. By that time, their teeth's pulp will be fully formed which means that they will be less sensitive.
Skipping Dental Braces?
Another cosmetic dental trend that teens are embracing is veneers. Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are shaped and colored to look like normal teeth. Dentists attach them to existing teeth, giving wearers the natural-looking smile they always wanted. Some teens are now opting out of the standard orthodontic path that involves years of dental braces and retainers in favor of veneers. An orthodontist or dentist who does braces can help your teens decide whether dental braces or veneers are the right dental treatment for them.
Though veneers usually require only minimal drilling on existing teeth, once a teen decides to get them it usually means that they will have to wear them for the rest of their life. Veneers are extremely durable but they may need to be replaced or restored over the course of their wear.
Some dentists have expressed concern that teens choosing veneers may be at a greater risk for dental complications later in life because existing teeth problems are being covered-up rather than addressed.
If your teen is interested in veneers or teeth whitening, your dentist can help you make an informed decision and suggest alternative options for improving the appearance of your teen's teeth. Don't have a dentist? We can help you find one!