‘Social Six Teeth’ – Dental Problems At The Front Of The Mouth

Our Addlestone dentists look at some of the problems that most commonly occur with our front teeth.

Dental treatmentAt the Synergy Clinic we perform both restorative and cosmetic dentistry on all types of teeth, both front and rear. Although most dental issues can occur with any tooth, there are areas of the mouth where certain problems are more common.

In today’s blog, our Addlestone dentists are going to take a look at some of the problems that are most common with the ‘social six’ teeth; that is the visible teeth that we can see at the front of the mouth when we smile.

Enamel erosion

The front teeth are at risk of eroded enamel if we don’t take care to look after them well enough. The two main ways in which this can occur is through wearing down manually and through acid erosion due to our diet.

One of the ways that our teeth can suffer damage, including our front teeth, is through grinding them together. This problem, also known as bruxism, can lead to significant wear and even breaking of the teeth. The root of this problem seems to lie in anxiety and this needs to be addressed to help prevent it from happening. Even brushing our teeth too hard can cause the enamel to wear down, especially if we do so too soon after eating when our enamel is a little softer. Make sure to leave at least half an hour after eating before brushing to allow the enamel to re-harden. Also try to brush gently in a circular motion and do not ‘scrub’ your teeth too hard.

Acidic food, and drinks especially, pass over our front teeth and can cause erosion. Most soft drinks that contain sugar will contribute to this but high sugar, high acid sports drinks seem to be one of the worst culprits.

Although prevention is naturally the best option, any of our Addlestone patients who have already suffered from enamel erosion can have their teeth protected using porcelain dental veneers; effectively replacing the damaged enamel surface.

Stained teeth

Because food and drink, and cigarette smoke if you haven’t kicked that habit yet, pass over our front teeth, they are likely to bear the brunt of any staining. As they are also the visible teeth that others see when we smile, this presents an aesthetic problem for our patients. Whilst veneers can be used where teeth are very badly stained, for most people, the first step will be to try a teeth whitening treatment. We offer this either as an ‘in house’ treatment that takes one hour or as an ‘at home’ treatment using custom made whitening trays. This latter option takes a week or two before results are really noticeable but is equally effective. We are always happy to discuss the options with you to see which might suit you best.

Crooked teeth

Crooked and uneven teeth are very noticeable and are the cause of some people’s shyness in social situations. Crooked teeth are also more likely to suffer from decay as they are harder to clean and maintain. This is why we recommend that those with crooked and uneven teeth consider having them straightened. There are two particular options that we have available that are very popular.

Invisalign – This system is excellent for minor and even more extensive corrections; from a few crooked teeth to an uneven bite that can cause premature wear and even breaking of the teeth. This method uses transparent trays which make them very discreet and less noticeable for the patients when socialising with others or at work.

Six Month Smiles – These orthodontics are similar in design to conventional braces but use materials that blend in naturally with your teeth. These typically work more quickly than Invisalign as they focus solely on the ‘social six’ teeth and do not straighten those further towards the back of the mouth.

Diastema

This is where there is a gap between the front teeth, usually on the top row. Although, for some, this is seen as an ‘alluring’ look, it can cause problems such as contributing to other teeth becoming crooked. For some people it can also cause speech problems such as a lisp.

Diatemas vary in size and a professional examination is needed to determine the correct treatment. Depending on the situation, the main procedures used for correction are orthodontics, veneers or cosmetic bonding.

Decay

It is our front teeth that contribute mainly to our smile. Although decay is less common in these teeth than those at the rear, it can, and does, occur. Where a filling is required, we offer our patients the option of teeth coloured fillings that are made to match the colour of your natural teeth.

Whether you have a problem with your front or rear teeth, there are treatments available to restore them. A consultation will be needed to determine the correct treatment and you can be sure that you are in good hands here at the Synergy Clinic. If you would like to make an appointment to see one of our experienced dentists, please give our friendly team a call on 01932 856541.