Braces can help to straighten your teeth and give you a better smile, but there may be other cosmetic dental procedures to consider after the braces come off to make your smile the best it can be. Discuss the following options with your dentist to see which ones are right for you.
Tooth whitening is ideal if your teeth are stained or discolored, but the procedure can't be done while you have braces on. This is because the surface of the tooth beneath the brackets won't be able to be whitened, which can leave a spot at the center of each tooth. Talk to your dentist about the different options for whitening your teeth after braces, which can include using a tooth whitening toothpaste or having laser whitening performed in the dentist's office.
If you still have some gaps between your teeth, or if you have teeth that are misshapen, you may want to consider dental bonding. This process can help to eliminate gaps, and it can also be used to give teeth a straight edge. It's also a good option if you have one tooth that is slightly small, as it can be used to create the appearance of longer teeth. In some cases, you may have spots of discoloration from your braces, which your dentist may be able to correct with dental bonding as well.
Porcelain veneers can be used for a range of dental issues, from misshapen teeth to stubborn stains. In some cases, your dentist may decide that veneers are a better option than dental bonding for your teeth. He or she may also recommend veneers if tooth whitening doesn't take care of stains on the enamel of your teeth. This procedure involves custom-made porcelain covers for your teeth. They are very thin, and they look just like your natural teeth.
Braces don't change the shape of your gums, and if you have too much gum tissue or uneven gum tissue, you can have this corrected after your braces come off with gum contouring. Your dentist can perform a treatment using a laser to reshape the gum line to create an even look that matches your newly straightened teeth. You'll want to schedule an exam first to ensure you don't have gum disease or any other conditions that need to be treated before having the contour work done.
If you have just gotten your braces removed, or if you are about to, consider scheduling an appointment with your cosmetic dentist to determine if any of these options are right for you and your smile.