How to Make Dental Veneers Last

When you invest in veneers, you are investing in a beautiful smile that could last at least 10 years or more. However, this will only happen if you take excellent care of your veneers. To keep them lasting a long time and looking great along the way, keep these tips in mind from your dentist in Sarasota.

Brush with a Soft Toothbrush

When brushing your teeth, use a soft-bristled toothbrush, since this will be much easier on your veneers. Also, don’t brush too hard, and remember to floss.

Stay Away from Foods That Stain

If you can, avoid foods and drinks that are prone to staining your teeth and dental veneers. Should you like to drink coffee, tea, or wine, try to limit these as much as possible.

Avoid the Jawbreakers

Like many people, you probably enjoy some candy now and then. However, stick to the soft stuff, and stay away from hard candies and other similar types of sweets. This includes things like peanut brittle and hard nuts. You should also consider giving up things like sticky candies, such as many of the popular candy bars on the market. If you don’t, chances are your veneers will crack or fracture, meaning you’ll be visiting your dentist for a replacement or repair.

Don’t Grind Your Teeth

If you are prone to grinding your teeth, especially at night when sleeping, talk to your dentist in Sarasota about correcting this problem. There are simple appliances you can wear to avoid teeth grinding. There may also be lifestyle changes you can make to get rid of this behavior. When you have veneers and grind your teeth, this puts unnecessary stress on the veneers, resulting in them being damaged and not lasting as long as they were intended.

Give Up Smoking

If you smoke, give up this unhealthy habit. Not only will the tobacco stain your veneers, but smoking can also damage your gums, teeth, and jawbone. If problems occur, you may develop more serious oral health problems.Also, keep in mind that it may be harder to remove tobacco stains from your veneers. If you remember how carefully you chose the tint of your dental veneers, you may be more motivated to keep them stain-free.

Now that your Sarasota dental veneers have given you a beautiful smile, follow these tips to keep them in great shape.

Will My Veneers Need to be Whitened Over Time?

Dental veneers in Sarasota can be completely transformative. Imagine the day when you walk into the dentist’s office in Sarasota with an embarrassing smile and walk out with a brilliant, perfect smile. It will look and feel amazing, and you won’t want to wait before you flash your perfect smile at the people you meet. But what happens to veneers over time? Do they get stained and dingy-looking like natural teeth?

Do Veneers Stain?

Dental veneers in Sarasota are available in two types; porcelain veneers and composite resin veneers. Porcelain veneers are a little bit more pricey than their counterpart. In general, dental veneers don’t stain like natural teeth. Natural teeth are very porous, which is one reason why they are so susceptible to bacteria and cavities. Dental veneers are manufactured to be less porous so that they retain their initial brightness. This is also so that your choice of tint remains true over time.

Care of Dental Veneers

Even the highest quality veneers won’t stay white and stain-free if they aren’t properly cared for. When you get dental veneers in Sarasota, your dentist will send you home with care instructions so that your dental veneers look great for a long time to come. Follow your care instructions and you can expect to enjoy stain-free dental veneers for years.

Never Use Over-the-Counter Whiteners on Veneers

Over-the-counter teeth whiteners are intended for use on natural teeth. They will be ineffective or give unexpected results on dental veneers. For this reason, you should never use over-the-counter teeth whiteners on dental veneers, no matter how tempted you may be. You could inadvertently discolor your dental veneers or otherwise damage them.

What to Do About a Stained Dental Veneer

If one or more of your dental veneers somehow gets permanently stained, you should contact your dentist in Sarasota for help. Your dentist will be able to either whiten the veneer in-office or possibly replace that one veneer. Every situation will be different, so talk to your Sarasota dentist for details.

Dental veneers are made to stay bright and fabulous looking for years. But when you need help with the look of your dental veneers, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

What is Tooth Bonding?

Tooth bonding is a very straightforward procedure where a tooth-colored resin is applied to areas of a damaged tooth and then hardened using a special light. It is one of the most affordable cosmetic dentistry procedures available. If you have a chipped or cracked tooth, chances are that you would benefit from tooth bonding in Sarasota, FL.

What Conditions Can Tooth Bonding Treat?

Tooth bonding can help fix issues such as repairing chipped or cracked teeth, improving discolored teeth, closing gaps between teeth, making teeth seem longer, changing the shape of teeth, and even protecting roots that have been exposed by gum recession. Your dentist will be able to tell you if tooth bonding is an appropriate solution for your dental issues.

How Long Does Tooth Bonding Treatment Take?

Tooth bonding is one of the easiest procedures available to those looking to improve the appearance of their smile. It’s a treatment that can usually be done in one 30 to 60-minute visit. Further, if you get tooth bonding during a workweek, there’s no reason to think you can’t return to work immediately after your dentist visit.

How Tooth Bonding Works

First, your dentist will choose a resin color that closely matches your existing tooth color. Your Sarasota dentist can mix up a custom shade that matches your teeth color exactly. Next, the dentist will make a certain area of the tooth rougher so it can receive an application of a conditioning liquid. This liquid is like a primer that helps the bonding resin adhere to your tooth better. The dentist will then apply the resin to the tooth, sculpt it to the right shape and then use a UV light or laser to harden the material. The hardening process only takes a short while. Once the resin is fully hardened the dentist will touch it up and polish it so it blends in well with the rest of the teeth.

How to Care For Tooth Bonding

The beauty of tooth bonding is that no special care is required once the treatment is completed. You can literally leave the dentist’s office and go out for lunch. As long as you continue brushing and flossing your teeth, that’s all that’s required to care for your tooth bonding.

If you have one or more teeth that are cracked or could use some cosmetic adjustment, speak to your dentist about tooth bonding. Chances are, you can benefit from this simple and straightforward dental treatment option.


3 Tips To Care For Your Porcelain Veneers

From severe stains and chips to gaps and misshaped teeth, dental veneers in Sarasota can improve your smile. While they are incredibly durable, porcelain veneers are not meant to last forever. On average, you can expect veneers to last between 10 and 15 years or possibly longer.

Of course, proper care of your veneers, underlying teeth, and gums is essential if you want to protect the look and sturdiness of your new smile. Here are a few important aftercare tips to help you maintain your new dental veneers.

1. Brush and Floss as Normal

After Sarasota dentists remove a thin layer of tooth enamel, they secure the veneers to the teeth. If your underlying teeth and gums are not healthy and strong, the veneers will lack the support they need.

To keep your teeth and gums healthy enough to support your veneers, experts recommend brushing twice a day for two minutes at a time. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth and gums, and brush with gentle, circular motions rather than side to side.

Use a non-abrasive toothpaste and soft-bristled toothbrush that effectively removes food residue and plaque without harming your porcelain veneers.

Flossing at least once per day is also recommended. Regular flossing will remove food and bacteria lingering between your teeth/veneers to help reduce the risk of gum disease.

2. Protect Teeth/Veneers

Brushing and flossing will protect your teeth and veneers, but your smile may require additional protection in certain situations.

Never use your teeth as a tool to bite your nails or open packages/bottles. Using your teeth as a tool can chip or break not only your teeth but also your veneers.

You should also protect your newly restored smile while playing sports or any contact activities.

If you play football, hockey, soccer, or baseball or participate in kickboxing, martial arts, or even dance, consider wearing a mouth guard to protect your veneers. Your dentist can create a custom-fitted mouth guard that you can wear while playing sports or participating in contact activities.

If you are part of the 8 percent of adults who have bruxism, consider wearing a mouth guard, as well, to protect your teeth from the stress that occurs when clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth.

If your bruxism is caused by stress, seek out healthier coping methods, such as counseling, exercise, and even medications.

Placing veneers is a process, meaning a few steps are involved. Your dentist will place temporary veneers on your teeth while the permanent pieces are being fabricated. Unfortunately, you must avoid certain foods while wearing these temporary veneers.

Do not eat sticky foods, such as taffy and candy while wearing the temporary veneers. Also, avoid biting into hard foods, such as apples, pears, and celery. You should also reduce your intake of crunchy foods, such as popcorn, nuts, and potato chips, since these foods break off into smaller pieces that can damage and stick to the temporary veneers.

3. Visit the Dentist for Checkups

After a week of wearing your permanent veneers, visit your dentist for a routine checkup. This visit is important because it allows your dentist to evaluate the veneers’ placement and determine if your teeth and gums are adjusting effectively.

After this initial evaluation, you should continue visiting your dentist for checkups to ensure your underlying oral health is in good condition. Most experts recommend regular checkups every six months.

With proper care, protection, and regular dental checkups, veneers can be a great investment for your smile. For more information about dental veneers, contact Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA. We offer a wide range of cosmetic dentistry and general dentistry services.

Protect Your Teeth From Cracks Or Chip

How to Protect Your Teeth From Cracking or Chipping

Many dental issues, like cavities, develop over time and may stay unnoticed until detected by an oral health professional. However, some serious dental problems, like cracks in a tooth’s enamel, can occur in an instant and immediately change the way you eat, smile, and speak.

While your dentist in Sarasota can repair a cracked or chipped tooth, it’s smarter to prevent this type of dental injury when possible. In this blog, we provide you with steps you can take to prevent cracks and chips in the future.

Address the Symptoms of Bruxism

One of the biggest risk factors for cracking and chipping is the enamel wear that results from teeth clenching and grinding over long periods of time.

If you find yourself clenching or grinding during the day, you may be experiencing too much stress or have a muscle issue in your jaw. Find ways to reduce your stress and see a doctor for any persistent symptoms.

If you often wake up with a headache, tightness in your jaw, or aching teeth, you may have bruxism. Talk to your dentist about solutions for this nighttime dental condition.

Avoid Hard Food Items

Cracking and chipping almost always result from biting down on a hard object, whether the object is food or not. To protect your teeth from becoming chipped on food items, think about the foods you eat and which, if any, could threaten your teeth.

Common culprits include:

  • Bone-in meat
  • Corn on the cob
  • Hard candies
  • Ice cubes
  • Popcorn kernels

You may not need to eliminate these foods entirely, but you should come up with safer ways to eat them. For example, you can cut meat off the bone and corn off the cob, suck on hard candies and ice, and inspect your popcorn for kernels as you eat.

Don’t Use Your Teeth as Cutting Tools

Your teeth are designed for normal chewing. When you use your teeth to take tags off of new items, cut thread, or open containers, the motion strains your teeth in an abnormal way. This unusual motion makes your teeth more vulnerable to breakage.

If you often feel tempted to use your teeth as cutting tools, invest in a small utility tool you can carry with you, like a pocket knife or pair of sewing scissors.

Find Alternative Fidgeting Fixes

Sometimes you may not even think about the non-food items you put in your mouth. People who chew on pens, pencils, and other household items are more likely to experience cracks and chips in their teeth.

If possible, find other ways to release your excess energy. Doodle, play with a fidget toy, or even chew gum to avoid gnawing on the nearest pen.

Get Fitted for a Mouthguard If You Play Sports

Some tooth breakage occurs due to impact injuries, usually sustained during contact sports or accidents. You may not be able to predict when you might slip and fall, but you can predict when your teeth will be at risk during a recreational activity.

If you play a contact sport, get fitted for a mouthguard. Wear the mouthguard during practice and games to reduce the risk of dental injury.

Maintain a Mouth-Healthy Diet

The stronger your tooth enamel is, the less likely it is to break when put under stress. You can bolster your enamel strength by making smart eating choices.

  • Your mouth-healthy diet should contain:
  • Calcium, commonly found in dairy
  • Fiber, like apples
  • Folic acid, commonly found in dark green vegetables
  • Probiotics, like Greek yogurt
  • Protein, like low-fat meats

Discuss your nutrition options with your dentist and your primary care doctor to make smart decisions about what you put into your body.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

In addition to eating well, you must also establish a good oral hygiene routine to keep your tooth enamel strong. Choose high-quality floss, mouthwash, and toothpaste for your best results. You can learn more about toothpaste shopping in our previous blog, “What to Look for When Buying Toothpaste.”

Make and keep regular dental appointments and teeth cleaning in Sarasota, FL. No matter how good your at-home routine is, many dental conditions can only be detected and addressed by your dentist.

Seek Dental Treatment for Any Tooth Breakage

If you suspect that you have a broken tooth, seek dental attention right away. Your dentist may be able to reattach a broken part of your tooth but only within the first few hours after the incident.

Otherwise, your dentist may use a dental crown, veneers, or dental bonding to repair the damage. In this case, it is still important to see a dentist as soon as possible since cracks and chips can worsen over time and compromise the structural integrity of the tooth. If left unaddressed, this type of injury can necessitate extraction.

Use these guidelines to prevent acute dental injury and achieve better oral health overall.

3 Tooth Whitening Mistakes To Avoid

Whether you have just had braces removed or preparing for retirement, you might be thinking about whitening your teeth to improve your look before you enter into the next chapter of your life. Unfortunately, even small mistakes could compromise your results and make your smile uncomfortable. Here are three simple tooth whitening mistakes to avoid making, so that you can enjoy a brighter, more beautiful smile.

Mistake: Using DIY Kits

Toothpaste manufacturers make teeth whitening seem simple enough. After using a new toothpaste for a while or applying a special gel, your teeth can look whiter in a few hours — or will they? Although it might seem simple to use DIY whitening kits, many of these products aren’t approved by the ADA, which can leave you with poor results.

Oftentimes, at-home teeth whitening products contain lower concentrations of carbamide peroxide, which can make whitening take much longer. In fact, research has shown that the majority of “starter level” kits contain about 10% carbamide peroxide while dentists have access to concentrations as high as 40%.

Additionally, at-home whitening tools aren’t always easy or convenient to use since they are designed to fit everyone. For instance, bleaching trays may not fit properly, allowing whitening agents to spill onto surrounding gum tissues. The bleaching process can also be incredibly time-consuming, especially if you use whitening pens or messy strips.

On the other hand, in-office teeth whitening allows patients to lie back and relaxed while trained professionals take care of the rest. In addition to talking with you about what shade you would like your teeth to become, dentists will work hard to protect the surrounding gum tissue and dental work to prevent other problems.

Mistake: Whitening Too Frequently

Unfortunately, even prescribed dental whitening trays can cause problems if you use them too frequently. While it might seem tempting to whiten your teeth day and night, leaving those trays on for too long could cause extreme dental sensitivity and even enamel damage, which is why you should always follow your doctor’s orders closely.

When you whiten your teeth, a chemical reaction occurs in the dental enamel that releases microscopic plugs in the dental enamel. While it is true that this reaction allows bleaching agents to whiten underlying dentin, it can also cause pulpitis if the bleach isn’t removed in a timely manner. If you whiten your teeth too often, dental sensitivity can make it hard to eat and drink.

Over whitening your teeth can have other negative consequences, including making the edges of your teeth slightly translucent. Since the inside of your mouth is dark, this translucency can give your smile a bluish-gray look.

To prevent these kinds of negative side effects, only use products recommended by your Sarasota dentist, and always set a timer when you whiten your teeth. Avoid whitening your teeth at times when you might get distracted, such as when you are tired or involved in other activities.

Mistake: Ignoring Dental Damage Before Whitening

Another big mistake patients make when they are new to teeth whitening is overlooking existing dental damage. Before a dentist whitens your teeth, they will check your smile carefully for damage like missing dental fillings, chipped teeth, or cracks. Since whitening these areas can cause extreme pain, your dentist will talk with you about repairs before tackling cosmetic dental issues.

Before you consider any teeth whitening in Sarasota method, talk with your dentist about whether or not your teeth are healthy enough for bleaching. If you chip a tooth or experience facial trauma, have the issue resolved before using at-home products or prescribed bleaching trays.

If you want a healthy and beautiful smile, book an appointment with Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA. With a focus on personalized patient care and a commitment to kindness, our entire team can help your family to improve their dental health.

Are Dental Veneers Right For You?

Are Dental Veneers Right for You?

Dental veneers are an excellent choice for many patients, especially those who are considering improving how their teeth look. Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain or composite resin that are placed on top of tooth enamel, providing a natural appearance for your teeth.

The process of installing dental veneers in Sarasota, FL is straightforward. First, the doctor removes enamel from the teeth. After your teeth are polished and cleaned, the dentist applies veneers over them. Then he or she cements the pieces in place.

It sounds simple enough, but dental veneers may not be for everybody. If you have questions about dental veneers, you should speak with your dentist as soon as possible. You may be a candidate for the dental procedure.

These are some ways you can determine if veneers might work for you.

You Have Tooth Discoloration

Tooth discoloration is not always treated easily with over-the-counter whitening products. Veneers can provide you with a truly distinct look if you are tired of yellow or brown stains. The veneers are white and look perfectly natural in your mouth. The Sarasota dentist can adjust the color of your teeth to ensure that they do not stand out.

Tooth discoloration is commonly associated with drinking staining beverages, which include wine, tea, coffee and soda. Consider scaling back on these drinks after you have veneers installed to prevent future staining.

You Have Worn-Down Teeth

Teeth tend to wear down with age and use, and this fact is especially true if you grind or clench your teeth a lot. This habit tends to wear down your teeth, and over time the results can be quite dramatic.

Not only do veneers restore the look of your teeth, but they also improve the function by giving your teeth more stability while you are eating. You have much more freedom regarding the foods that you choose to eat.

You Have Cracked or Broken Teeth

Veneers are great for covering cracks, chips and breaks often caused by sports-related injuries. Even if just a few teeth are chipped or cracked, your dentist can provide a partial veneer. This dental product gives your smile a look of continuity and symmetry.

You Have Crowded or Spaced-Out Teeth

Whether your teeth are too close together or too far apart, veneers may be a great help. The goal of your dentist will be to help you achieve a straight smile in which all your teeth are spaced out evenly so that you are proud of your smile.

You Are Unhappy With Your Smile

Ultimately, any time you are not happy with the look and feel of your teeth, you should talk to your dentist. For example, if you don’t like the shape of your teeth, veneers can help you get the smile you want. But whether or not veneers are an option, cosmetic dentists can help you find a solution that meets your needs.

You Are Committed to Good Oral Hygiene

In order for your dentist to agree to install veneers, he or she must trust that you are dedicated to good oral hygiene. A dentist may not want to install veneers if you do not have a strong dental hygiene regimen. Veneers may not be your real teeth, but they still require regular maintenance.

Discuss your goals for the future of your teeth and what you hope to achieve with your dentist to see what may be in store for your smile. Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA offers a wide range of dental services that make your teeth look and feel great. We offer restorative and cosmetic work, all provided with a gentle touch. Call today to book your appointment.

Why Whiten Your Teeth?

Why Whiten Your Teeth?

Long gone are the days when a dull, stained or not-so-bright smile was just something you were stuck with. Teeth whitening in Sarasota, FL is an easy cosmetic fix that can transform your smile and brighten your entire face. Whether you choose an in-office procedure or an at-home whitening system, your Sarasota dentists can help you to improve the way your teeth look.

While teeth whitening is not medically necessary, it is important when it comes to first impressions. Forty-eight percent of people think that a person’s most memorable feature (for a first meeting) is a smile, according to a survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

Along with making a dazzling first impression in general, why do plenty of dental patients choose to whiten their teeth? Take a look at the most common reasons for picking this procedure. If you’re on the fence and can’t decide whether to whiten or not whiten, learning about these benefits may help you to make a decision.

Eating and Drinking Issues

Foods and beverages with chromogens (strong pigments), tannins (these make it possible for stains to stick) and acids (these erode enamel) can lead to discoloration. If you often eat dark foods, such as blueberries or cranberries, or drink their juices, you may be at risk for stains. The same goes for drinking coffee, tea or red wine.

Even though these and other stain-causing foods and beverages are known destroyers of the bright white smile, you might not want to give them up. That’s completely understandable. Just because your morning coffee or tea is dulling your teeth doesn’t mean you should ditch your favorite drink. Whitening can take those food and beverage stains and make them less noticeable.

However, keep in mind that whiteners won’t always completely remove all stains, and they don’t last forever. But with regular whitening, you can keep your favorite foods and drinks without having to give up your smile.

Self-Confidence Booster

What’s on the inside matters most when it comes to who you are. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a little boost from a cosmetic helper. No one is saying that you should get a major procedure to change your looks. If you’re sensitive about your smile because of stains and discoloration, whitening is a simple way to up your self-esteem.

Knowing that people are looking at you — and not your stained teeth — makes it easier to smile. A bright smile brightens your entire appearance, and not just because your teeth are whiter. The confidence you’ll feel will show on your face too.

Special Events

Aside from food- and drink-related staining and the desire to increase your self-confidence, sometimes teeth whitening can help you out with a less major issue. A wedding, a graduation or even a special date are all reasons why some patients choose to whiten their teeth.

You get your hair done, dress in your best outfit and buy new shoes for your special event. So why stop there? Don’t forget about your teeth too. Think of whitening as fancy dress for your teeth. And it doesn’t hurt that the fabulous effects will stick around for months after the event ends. That means you’ll be ready for your next show-stopping appearance.

Are you looking for a professional-level whitening? Call the office of Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA to learn more about your options. Zoom! Whitening is an in-office procedure that uses an LED light to accelerate the process and give you a brighter smile in less time. If you want an at-home whitener, we’ll create custom-made bleaching trays and provide you with a gel bleach that our dentist prescribes.

Care Tips For Bonded Teeth

4 Crucial Care Tips for Bonded Teeth

Modern composite resins are truly a cut above the tooth-colored dental restoration materials available years ago, capable of flexing with your natural teeth and remaining intact for decades. Unfortunately, bonded teeth aren’t immune to damage, which is why you should remember these three crucial care tips for composite resin repairs.

Watch the Whitening

Your dental enamel contains thousands of microscopic pores that can absorb pigment, which is why most people experience some accumulative discoloration over time. Unfortunately, because the composite resins used by your dentist in Sarasota have a different molecular structure, they will not lighten like your natural teeth.

In fact, whitening your teeth when you have composite resin restorations may create a mottled appearance because your teeth may become lighter than the restorations. To avoid problems, always talk with your doctor before you start any kind of whitening routine, and only use toothpastes recommended by your dentist.

If you need dental bonding and teeth whitening, have your teeth whitened prior to having the composite resins added. That way, your dentist can opt for a composite the same color as your whitened teeth, and the repairs will blend in seamlessly.

Dentists can also recommend the proper whitening agent for your level of staining, helping you to avoid side effects like dental sensitivity and opaque tooth edges.

Be Gentle With Teeth

As you go about your day, you might encounter several different items that need to be opened, including bottles and packages. Unfortunately, if you use your teeth to twist open those bottles or rip into those bags, you could fracture your dental bonding.

People can also run into trouble with damaged dental bonding when they chew hard foods or rip off plastic retail tags with their teeth. Playing sports or living with a teeth grinding problem can also ruin composite resin restorations.

To protect your bonded teeth, be gentle with your smile. Only use a soft-bristled toothbrush, and focus on never biting into packages with your teeth. Avoid habits that could damage your smile, such as biting your nails or chewing on pens. If you suspect that you clench or grind your teeth when you sleep, talk with your dentist about protective mouth guards.

Although prevention is always easier than repairs, dental bonding is easy to restore if damage does happen. After carefully evaluating the damage and making sure the issue hasn’t caused deeper problems, your dentist can match composite resins with the natural shade of your teeth, add the proper amount of resin, and then shape and polish it until your teeth look perfect again.

Avoid Alcohol

After dental bonding is put in place, your dentist will cure it with a blue ultra-violet light to cure the compound. While it is true that this process creates incredibly hard and solid dental restorations, the molecular structure of composite resins can be disturbed by alcohol, which is why dentists recommend avoiding mouthwashes or drinks that contain alcohol.

If dental bonding is softened by continued exposure to alcohol, the bonding material may be more likely to sustain microscopic scratches or dents, which could damage the structural integrity of the repair. Additionally, alcohol can contribute to mouth dryness, leading to dental decay and bad breath.

When you purchase mouthwash, make sure it doesn’t contain alcohol. If you enjoy alcoholic beverages from time to time, use a straw and swish your mouth with water afterward to prevent contact between the beverage and your dental repair.

If your smile could use a few updates, stop by the office of Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA. In addition to helping families with a full range of preventive and restorative dentistry services, our experienced team of family dentists can also help with CEREC® same-day crowns and dental implants in Sarasota, FL.

How Can Your Dentist Eliminate A Gap Between Your Teeth?

If you have a gap between two of your teeth—especially between your two front teeth—you may be self-conscious about your appearance. A large gap may even keep you from smiling or speaking with confidence.

Known as a diastema, a space between the teeth can appear if your teeth are too small or narrow for your jaw or if they’re misaligned when they emerge during childhood. Diastemas can also form due to thumb-sucking and late-stage gum disease. Regardless of the cause, you don’t have to go on living with your gap-toothed smile. There are several methods your dentist can use to close the gap.


If your teeth are properly sized but are simply misaligned in your jaw, your dentist in Sarasota, FL will likely recommend braces. Traditional braces slowly shift the teeth into position. Since your moving one tooth affects the position of the rest of the teeth in your mouth, you’ll typically need to wear a full set of braces even if only two teeth are misaligned.

Braces can cause mild discomfort, but it can typically be controlled with over-the-counter pain relievers. Most people must wear braces for between 18 and 24 months, but if your teeth are only slightly misaligned, you may not need to wear them quite this long.

If the gap between your teeth formed due to late-stage periodontal disease that loosened your teeth and allowed them to shift, you must have the periodontal disease treated before the gap can be closed. Treatments may include gum grafts, a deep-cleaning method known as root scaling, and use of antibiotics. Once your gums are healthy again, your dentist can use braces to push your teeth back into their original positions, closing the gap.

Dental Bonding

If your teeth are properly placed in your jaw but are too narrow or too small, your dentist may recommend a procedure called dental bonding to make them appear larger, essentially closing the gap between them. Dental bonding is quite straight forward and painless. The process is similar to having a cavity filled and can be completed in one office visit.

When you have your teeth bonded, your dentist will begin by using a special file to roughen up the edges of your teeth. Then, he or she will apply a tooth-colored resin to the surface of the tooth, molding it into shape to close the gap and widen your tooth. After a special UV light is used to cure the resin, it is filed down and shaped to have a natural appearance.

The materials used for dental bonding are porous and do stain, so you’ll want to avoid drinking coffee and red wine regularly. You may need to have the resin replaced or repaired in the future if it chips, which becomes more likely with age.

Porcelain Veneers

If there’s not only a gap between your front teeth but also chips, discoloration, or irregularly shaping, you may wish to have your teeth covered with veneers. These are thin layers of porcelain that are fitted over the front of your teeth to camouflage the teeth behind them.

Unlike the materials used for dental bonding, veneers are stain-resistant. They can be made to look natural or brighter white, depending on your preference. Their primary downfall is that they’re generally more expensive than dental bonding. Plus, since a layer of enamel has to be removed to put veneers into place, you must keep them on for life after you commit to them.

Dental veneers in Sarasota are usually applied across two appointments. In the first appointment, your teeth are prepared and a mold is made. In the second appointment, the specially made veneers are cemented to your teeth.

If you have a gap between two of your teeth, don’t continue to hide your smile. Get in touch with Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDA, PA to discuss your diastema and your personal treatment options.