September 17, 2022
In the world of cosmetics and designing, makeup is a word usually associated with an alteration of a structure's morphology. Facial makeup is an ages old ubiquitous trend which is done in order to enhance facial aesthetics.
Teeth make an important component of facial aesthetics as their shape, size and shade have a direct impact in relation to the facial structures. They are a principle component in smile designing whose importance has grown along with the rise of aesthetic dentistry.
Aesthetic dentistry involves the use of tooth colored cements and restorations, tooth colored crowns, teeth bleaching, soft and hard tissue surgical modifications that govern the principles of aesthetics. Advanced digital workflow for smile designing purposes that utilize CAD-CAM and designing softwares have further enhanced aesthetic dentistry.
Cosmetic is the art of beautifying. Aesthetic is the outcome of a cosmetic intervention. Even though biomimetic techniques are recommended by dental professionals for enhancing aesthetics, certain products like dental paints, gels, pens and polishes are used by people in order to get temporary aesthetic enhancement.
Dental paints can be either used for whitening or they can be available in different colors depending on the type of cosmetic makeup they want. The trend of teeth makeup that involves coating teeth with different colours is tagged as rainbow teeth. Teeth whitening using paints has been done since 1920s. Let's take a look at the characteristics of dental paints prevalent today along with their safety and efficacy.
A dental makeup paint should be easy to apply and easy to remove. It's contents must be non-toxic. These paints can stay on the tooth surface for no more than 24 hours. They are applied by isolating the teeth with cotton, i.e., placing cotton rolls between gums and teeth in order to avoid irritation to gums. The teeth are dried with gauze or cloth. Later, 1 to 3 strokes of polish is applied per tooth using a brush. There should be a ten second break between 2 applications. A cheek retractor is used for better access to the back teeth.
Dental polish can contain tooth powder. It contains medium grit abrasive agents that helps in countering stains and tartar. Tooth polish can contain calcium phosphate, essential oils, bicarbonate soda and vegan additives. One of the most popular brands of tooth polish is Chrom. It markets itself as something similar to nail polish, but for teeth. It contains triethyl citrate, ethanol, fluorine micas, titanium dioxide, organic lake and plant based pigments. The polish can be available in multiple colors that can be solids, metallic, glittery and glows.
Tooth paint 'pigments' last longer than polishes. This pigment for tooth whitening can contain castor oil, methyl hydrogenated rosin, alcohol, silica and ethyl cellulose.
Clinical implications for teeth makeup and painting
Despite their claims, teeth paints don't actually remove stains. They can mask them but in order to remove them, they need to infiltrate some layers of enamel which they are no capable of. Its effectiveness is for a shorter period of time. Tooth paints might be able to withstand soft foods but not concentrated or hard foods. Moreover, since it can wither away easily, it becomes imperative to carry a dental paint bottle all along.
Disadvantages of this paint includes that it can cause sensitivity and inflammtion to gums. It is difficult to apply to the back of teeth. Moreover, application of tooth polish can be technique sensitive and time consuming. Even though there is lack of data, tooth polish in pregnant women is not advised on a precautionary basis. Tooth polish should not be done on existing dental prosthesis. Even though application is easy, removal of the tooth polish from dental work can cause surface irregularities.
Tooth paints or polishes are not in American Dental Association's list of products that are safe for application on teeth. If they are to be used, then a customer must always consider the brand, quality, longevity and features in a dental paint for assured results. Chrom, Mehron Makeup Tooth FX, Essential Oxygen BR, Upplega and Oshhni are some of the popular brands of dental paints and polishes.
Professional dental bleaching lasts longer than tooth paints or polishes. There is a lack of research on the long-term pros and cons of application of dental paints or polishes. Tooth paints and polishes are thus recommended only for temporary use during social gatherings or for theatrics.