Dental hygiene and oral health are a crucial part of every human’s overall health. According to WHO (the World Health Organization), over 2.3 billion people suffer from dental problems worldwide. This is because of urbanization and its aftermath of changing lifestyle and evolution. With decreasing interest to maintain a proper routine of oral care, tooth decay and other oral concerns are rising. Surprisingly, after a thorough study on dental care, it was reported that 30% of the population does not have natural teeth left, marking it a world crisis. Keeping your teeth shaped and healthy is a necessity for proper oral hygiene. Amongst many tooth procedures comes braces and filing. These procedures give rise to tons of questions in patients’ minds. The most common of which is whether filing teeth after braces is safe and beneficial and also, do orthodontists file teeth after braces with proper care or not?

Filing Teeth After Braces: Take The Scare Away
Filing Teeth After Braces: Take The Scare Away

What Is Tooth Filing?

This is placed in terms of tooth reshaping, tooth shaving, tooth contouring, tooth slenderizing, or sanding. Tooth filing is a procedure performed to reduce the size of a chipped tooth, contour crooked teeth, fit a tooth in the mouth, give a proper shape to it, and improve appearance.

This procedure is technically called enameloplasty, odontoplasty, or occlusal equilibration, with each having a slight difference in their respective treatment. Tooth filing is essential for straight teeth maintenance and proper oral hygiene. 

What Is Enameloplasty?

This is the most common name used for teeth filing procedures. Enameloplasty is performed to make your teeth even and provide a better aesthetic to your beautiful smile.

It is a pretty straightforward procedure and has no excessive caretaking afterward. Crooked teeth, chipped teeth, and other problems can be solved with the same. 

Using a laser or sanding tool

A laser or a sanding tool is used to gently remove very small bits of chipped tooth enamel and is performed by the dentist precisely. Thin steps of sandpaper are also used to shape the sides of the teeth.

Upon reaching the desired shape of the tooth, polishing and smoothing the edges out is a must. This improves the look as well as does not let the teeth hurt the tongue or mouth. The dentist will properly perform the steps.

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Tooth filings After Braces: Take The Scare Away

Why Get Your Teeth Filed?

There are multiple reasons where you can opt for filing teeth braces or uneven teeth. Even though tooth shaving is an aesthetic dental procedure, there are multiple benefits to it as well. 

The different reasons for opting in teeth filing-

  • If a tooth feels rough
  • After getting braces like traditional metal braces or Invisalign braces
  • Decreasing the chances of plaque
  • To smoothen out fractures
  • Remove small chips
  • Reduce overlapping
  • Reshape pointy teeth
  • To improve bite and tooth alignment
  • Balance out uneven teeth
  • To correct overcrowding
  • Providing space to a neighbor tooth
  • While getting lower false teeth known as denture

What Are The Benefits Of Teeth Filing?

Before Or After Getting Braces

Misaligned or crowded teeth are shaped with braces or aligners which help the teeth to move to the desired place and have an even shape. A little contouring might be required to shape the teeth before getting the braces.

Additionally, filing teeth after braces helps with shaping if the teeth had moved forward or are looking bigger than usual. 

Filing Teeth After Braces: Take The Scare Away
Tooth filing After Braces: Take The Scare Away

Damaged Teeth Can Be Reshaped

Some patients do not pay attention to a small bit of chunk missing from their tooth and don’t go for dental treatments. But over time, even a small chip can cause damages like more breakage or decreasing bite.

Shaping up the tooth will create an even edge and improve your perfect smile. Damages can also be reduced with shaving teeth after braces like traditional metal braces. 

To Fit A Crown

A crown is a cap needed to fit over a damaged tooth for different reasons. More often patients who have gone under root canal procedure require a crown. Fitting a crown needs some shaping of the tooth. Hence, tooth shaving helps here.

Filing Teeth After Braces: Take The Scare Away
Filing Teeth After Braces: Take The Scare Away

Adjusts Bite

Teeth have the primary function of chewing food. When the upper and lower teeth do not fall in a perfect alignment when matched, your bite can be hindered.

The food you eat might not be chewed properly causing health issues including jaw pain, headaches, loosened tooth, and more.

Most commonly, the canine tooth becomes problematic alongside crooked teeth. So, filing teeth helps to level the teeth and improve the bite. Straight teeth always maintain good bite. 

Creates More Room In The Mouth

A small jaw with more teeth causes problems. Overcrowding of teeth has become a prominent issue in oral hygiene globally. Issues like crooked teeth, jaw pain, and misalignment tend to start.

To prevent this, teeth shaving helps to create enough room for every tooth in your mouth and reduces crowding. Interproximal reduction technique can be beneficial here as well. 

Filing Teeth After Braces: Take The Scare Away
Filing Teeth After Braces: Take The Scare Away

For Better Veneer Adjustment

A veneer is somewhat alike a crown but less popular. It protects a damaged tooth but only the front ones. A dentist might file your frontal tooth a little bit to adjust the veneer.

After the removal of the veneer, some changes in the size, length, shape, or color of the tooth can be noticed. If any changes in shape or size arise, contouring is done to level the alignment. 

How Much Do Teeth Filing Cost?

The overall cost of any dental procedure depends upon the necessary factors of your treatment, doctor’s experience, and your location. On an estimation, minor teeth filing costs between $50 to $300. While the occlusal equilibration is more expensive and ranges between $650 and $1500 with follow-up care.

Are There Any Risks Or Side Effects? 

Dental procedures are not considered risky. And specifically, procedures that require filing teeth after braces, neither harm you nor your dental health. The filing does not hurt as there are no nerves in the enamel.

Hence, no anesthetic is required for the same. For healthy teeth, enameloplasty is harmless, but this might cause some trouble on a fragile tooth. It is considered safer to prepare for a crown when a damaged tooth has to be contoured.

This way, the broken tooth will be protected and be stronger for the same purpose. 

Filing Teeth After Braces: Take The Scare Away
Filing Teeth After Braces: Take The Scare Away

Patients with weak teeth might experience some of these side effects-

But, tooth enamel is a protective layer that gives biting strength and fights bacteria. It is only 2.58 mm in thickness, thus leaving a little space for mistakes. If the enamel is completely removed, the teeth become sensitive.

Dentists need to make sure that the enamel is not harmed. This will result in many dental problems. Your priority shall always be proper oral hygiene. 

What Is Interproximal Reduction?

Interproximal reduction (IPR) is another type of tooth filing that narrows the teeth for creating space required for alignment treatments consisting of Invisalign braces or retainer.

It is a commonly used technique within orthodontists requiring minimal pressure for slowly shifting the teeth. It has been proven beneficial for getting straight teeth, improved jaw alignment, and proper tooth placement. Black triangles teeth are another issue solved by IPR.

Moreover, if you require shaving teeth after braces like the traditional metal braces, IPR will accompany the procedure. 

Is Dental Contouring Right For You?

If you need minor changes with your teeth appearance or have gone through dental treatment, opting for teeth shaving is the right choice. Dental contouring is indeed an effective way to get the perfect smile you want. There might not be a drastic change after filing like Invisalign orthodontic treatment, but over time the change will become prominent.

Moreover, shaving teeth after braces is beneficial both as a treatment and aesthetically. An appointment with the dentist will clear the doubts on what will suit you the best. Whether it is filing teeth after braces, or a simple improvement in the look, the dentist will provide good options.

Nowadays cosmetic dentistry is marking a new zone for people who want to improve their look. Proper oral hygiene is not difficult with teeth filing. 

Some Frequently Asked Queries-

Are There Any Alternatives To Teeth Filing?

Researches have been made suggesting that having proper dental appointments regularly and having proper oral hygiene can fight problems like pain and tooth sensitivity.

If you are not comfortable with opting for enameloplasty (like the teeth shaving Invisalign orthodontic treatment) after having an issue with traditional metal braces or so, there are a few alternatives as well. Some might be a bit less effective but can still help you. 

Filing Teeth After Braces: Take The Scare Away
Filing Teeth After Braces: Take The Scare Away
Dental ProblemsAlternatives
Cracked or broken toothCrown, veneer, inlay, onlay, extraction
Misaligned teethBraces
DiscolorationVeneer, whitening
Small or large chipBonding, veneer
Tooth decayRoot canal, extraction

Does Enameloplasty Hurt?

No, this orthodontic procedures is completely pain-free because it requires the filing of the top layer of enamel. Do orthodontists file teeth after braces?

Yes, they perform it really well and carefully to not hurt you. Especially the technique of Invisalign orthodontic treatment requires a professional for no hurting damage.

How Long Does It Take For Teeth To Go Back After Braces?

Upon the removal of braces, the natural shifting process starts in which teeth move and the difference of teeth shape looks evident. Small movements are not a matter of concern.

Dentists do not go for Invisalign teeth shaving in case of minor changes. Although, if there is a significant change in the appearance, it becomes a concern for your bite.

Teeth will not shift back after having teeth aligners like traditional metal braces. It is better to prevent further shifting. For this purpose, retainers are a good way to keep your teeth in the shape they were right after the braces were removed.

But, most of the patients don’t like retainers as they might be unsettling and feel troubling. There is a lot of getting used to; first with braces and then with the retainer. 

It is important to get retainers after braces and take care. There are wire aligners as well that are attached to the back of your teeth and keep them still with no shifting.

Why Do My Teeth Look Bigger After Braces?

If you had braces like the traditional metal braces, you will notice some differences in your teeth size. Braces not only straighten and shape your teeth but also widens up your beautiful smile. There is a chance that the teeth might move outwards as well looking bigger in size.

With every aligner, braces adjustment appointment, your teeth are forced to shift into their desired place. After the braces have been removed, the natural settling process takes place. In this process, your teeth will move. 

This is not a problem unless you already had naturally larger teeth. If you did, and it is making you uncomfortable, shaving teeth after braces will help with the same. 

Filing Teeth After Braces: Take The Scare Away
Filing Teeth After Braces: Take The Scare Away

Interproximal reduction (IPR) is wise to take upon. It is a computer-based program planned orthodontic procedures and provides a better vision to the dentist. This is even helpful with traditional metal braces. You might ask now, whether orthodontists, after braces do they file your teeth or perform IPR? This answer differs from each patient’s case. 

Who Should Consider Tooth Contouring?

Patients with teeth having chipped or jaggedly shaped edges should consider tooth contouring. If you face issues with your bite or have teeth that don’t fit in your gums properly, contouring is a good option.

This procedure lowers the pain and also the chances of any disorders. Additionally, shaving teeth after braces is a must for many patients. You will have straight teeth and a better smile. 

How Much Does Tooth Reshaping Cost?

The overall cost of any orthodontic procedures depends upon the necessary factors of your treatment, doctor’s experience, and your location. On an estimation, minor teeth filing costs between $50 to $300.

While the occlusal equilibration is more expensive and ranges between $650 and $1500 with follow-up care appointments. Interproximal reduction on the other hand costs $50 to $300 for minor procedures and can go higher up to $1500 for major ones. 

Did You Have Filing Between Your Teeth For Space? If So, How Long After Did You Get Your Braces Off?

Usually, if a patient has had their teeth filed for space before getting braces, the teeth will naturally align themselves. Even if there is an evident gap in between teeth, taking off braces at their own proper time is a must. It depends upon the patient’s case.

Only after a thorough orthodontic appointment, the time needed for the braces to be taken off can be determined. It is commonly six to eight months with the most complex condition taking up to one or two years and can vary case by case.

Can I Get Braces After A Dental Implant Or Bridge?

Dental implants or dental bridges should not move after they have been positioned. But as teeth shift naturally, even implants fall under the defeat. Aging is a major factor in the shift. For example, if you have a lower false teeth bridge as an adult, you will notice some differences in the actual positioning of your teeth. Braces also become problematic due to this shift. 

Getting braces after implants sure looks difficult to opt for but it is not impossible. You can definitely get it done. This is possible if only your dental implants have settled up in their position. Upon which, the surrounding teeth can be fixed up with aligners or braces which Invisalign system. 

No matter how many dental implants exist, the braces can be used. The dentist will check the state of your implants and plan accordingly. If braces are necessary and an implant is creating trouble with the alignment of your teeth, its crown or the entire implant is removed. All of this can only be put a pin to after a proper orthodontic appointment. 

Can You File Your Teeth At Home?

It is a big no. It might look like a great idea to save money on orthodontic appointments and trouble with tutorials available over the internet, but in reality, it is not safe.

You can cause damage to your teeth and mouth including damage to your protective layer of enamel, especially if you have crooked teeth or have had traditional metal braces before. Always consult a professional dentist for teeth filing. Straight teeth are not attainable by performing filing at home.