What is just one of the reasons that A-list celebrities look so terrific? Among other things, they have an army of aesthetic experts who always make them look their best – a team of hairdressers, plastic surgeons, makeup artists, stylists, dermatologists – and dentists.
Remember the old poster of Farrah Fawcett in the 70s? One of the most stunning features of her beautiful face were her straight, white teeth. Today, all you need to do is to look at 62-year-old model Christie Brinkley or actress Sofia Vergara to see a mouthful of gorgeous molars – and it’s impossible to tell if their teeth are fake or the real thing. (If they are fake but look 100 percent natural, that’s the goal of aesthetic cosmetic dentistry.) Both of these women have extraordinary smiles, and the gorgeous grins of the Cheshire cat. Among men, I consider actors Brad Pitt and Hugh Jackman to have award-winning straight teeth.
The great thing about modern dentistry is that Oscar-worthy teeth are available to everyone who wants it and can afford it.
If you are an adult who is dissatisfied with your teeth, desires a stunning smile, and feels a lack of confidence from having crooked teeth, Invisalign is one answer.
Here’s how it works. Patients come in to have impressions made of their teeth. We create a custom schedule of clear, flexible plastic trays that the patient can wear, changing them every two weeks as the teeth move in the right direction. There’s little discomfort, except for perhaps the first two weeks, when the inside of your mouth gets used to having hard plastic sitting directly on the teeth—some Tylenol usually helps. Slowly but surely, little by little, the teeth move in the properly aligned direction.
Here’s something else most people don’t realize—your 32 adult teeth are moving every day, to a microscopic point, all on their own, even when you’re sleeping. Your teeth are under constant force. If you do take steps to correct your teeth, make them straight.
To make sure they continue to stay in place and in alignment, you may want to consider a nighttime mouth guard, which will counteract any teeth grinding. Some people even grind when they’re awake, and use a daytime mouth guard.
For kids who need their teeth straightened for health reasons, braces can be put on children at the earliest at age seven. The most time metal braces should stay in the mouth is about eight years, with about two years the average. The biggest problem for kids wearing braces is keeping them clean, as the wire braces form a scaffolding that traps food and makes them difficult to cleanse. In this case, it’s important to brush and floss under the wire framework. Also, braces easily cut into your cheeks, and can sometimes be painful. In that case, I suggest using orthodontic wax to ease some of the discomfort. You can find it at your local drugstore. A sonic toothbrush can also help with dental hygiene.
With proper dentistry, you can have a mouthful of stunning straight—and most important—healthy teeth. It just goes to show you that with good dentistry, you may not be a celebrity, but you can look just like one, with the perfect smile.
Dr. Daniel Kazachkov is a graduate of Tufts Dental School, and decided to become a dentist when he was five years old, in 1986, opening Dental Arts of Westwood.
Column written by Dr. Daniel Kazachkov in conjunction with Debbi Kickham. For more information, visit www.DentalArtsOfWestwood.com.