How Teeth Shaving Can Enhance Your Post-Braces Look?

June 18, 2024

Although this process is known by various names, you may not be familiar with the term "tooth shaving." Tooth reshaping, filling, contouring, and slenderizing are some of these procedures. Enameloplasty, sometimes known as odontoplasty, is the technical term for this process. To improve the way teeth fit in your mouth and look, the operation, as its names suggest, entails somewhat smaller teeth. Even though they do it for aesthetic purposes most of the time, dentists occasionally advise it because they believe it to be medically necessary. 


Most persons who use teeth contouring treatments do so to make a damaged or uneven tooth look better. To establish a smooth and equal line in these cases, the dentist will have to remove the mamelons or scalloped edges.

Filing Teeth vs. Professional Dental Shaving

While the terms "filing teeth" and "teeth filed down" might sound familiar, it's important to understand the difference between at-home attempts and professional dental shaving. DIY methods are dangerous and can cause permanent damage to your teeth and bite (occlusion). A dentist uses specialized tools and expertise to precisely remove a small amount of your tooth enamel for a safe and controlled cosmetic enhancement.

Refining Your Smile with Teeth Shaving

Even with braces, you might have some lingering concerns about your smile. Teeth shaving can address these issues:

  • Minor Misalignments: 

Braces are incredibly effective at straightening teeth, but they might leave behind slight gaps or unevenness, particularly when dealing with mild to moderate crowding. Teeth shaving can meticulously remove minimal amounts of enamel to achieve a more uniform and symmetrical appearance across your teeth.

  • Smoothing Rough Edges: 

The process of removing braces can sometimes cause nicks or chips on the edges of your teeth. These rough edges can be aesthetically displeasing and even catch on your tongue or lip. Teeth shaving allows your dentist to gently smooth out these imperfections, creating a polished and refined look for your smile.

  • Symmetry and Balance: 

A perfectly balanced smile is essential for an aesthetically pleasing look. Teeth shaving empowers your dentist to subtly reshape and resize your teeth. This can address minor asymmetries or size discrepancies between teeth, creating a more harmonious and balanced overall smile.

  • Bite Adjustments (Occlusal equilibration): 

In some cases, braces might not fully correct minor bite issues. Teeth shaving can be used for very precise adjustments to your tooth surfaces, sometimes improving your bite function and overall chewing comfort.

Who should consider tooth contouring?

If you’ve ever fretted over a tooth with a bit of a jagged edge or a chip, especially if it’s in a highly visible spot, you may be a candidate for tooth contouring. If you have trouble with your bite, you may also want to consider tooth contouring, reshaping, or equilibration. If your teeth don’t fit together properly, it can cause pain in your jaw and head, even possibly leading to a condition in a joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull that’s called temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.

The Teeth Shaving Procedure: A Painless Polish

The teeth-shaving procedure itself is typically painless, often requiring only local anesthesia. Your dentist will use a drill or laser to precisely remove a minimal amount of enamel to achieve the desired shape.

Alternatives to Teeth Shaving: Veneers, Crowns, and Bonding

For more significant cosmetic changes or structural issues, your dentist might recommend alternative procedures like:

Veneers for Teeth: The Versatile Solution for a Dramatic Smile Transformation

Veneers are thin, custom-made shells crafted from porcelain or composite resin. They are bonded directly to the front surface of your teeth, offering a broader range of cosmetic improvements compared to teeth shaving. Deep stains, tetracycline discoloration, or uneven enamel can significantly detract from your smile. Veneers offer an opaque solution, effectively masking these imperfections and creating a bright, uniform appearance. If you have chipped, misshapen, or slightly uneven teeth? Veneers can be customized to reshape and lengthen your teeth, creating a more symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing smile design.


Veneers can be strategically placed to close minor gaps or diastema (space) between your teeth, achieving a more seamless and uniform smile line. Porcelain veneers are highly durable and resist staining better than natural teeth, ensuring your beautiful smile lasts for years.

Dental Crowns: The Protection and Restoration for Compromised Teeth

Crowns for teeth are specially manufactured caps that completely enclose the natural tooth structure. Crowns provide a complete solution as opposed to merely aesthetic veneers. Your tooth's structural integrity may be jeopardized by deep fissures, fractures, or spacious cavities. To restore strength and functionality, crowns offer a sturdy and protective covering.

Your tooth becomes more fragile after having a root canal. Through structural reinforcement, a crown keeps the tooth strong and prevents future fractures.


Crowns give your teeth total coverage and a new aesthetic beginning when veneers are unable to conceal significant discoloration or fluorosis. In dental implant operations, crowns are the last touch. The replacement tooth is entirely functional and has a natural appearance because of its bespoke design that effortlessly integrates with the implant post.

Teeth Bonding: A Conservative Approach for Minor Imperfections

Teeth bonding utilizes a tooth-colored resin material that is sculpted and bonded directly to your tooth enamel. Small chips or cracks on the tooth surface can be repaired using bonding resin, restoring the tooth's natural shape and structure. Bonding can be used to close very small gaps between teeth, creating a more uniform smile line. Stubborn white spots on teeth that resist traditional whitening treatments can be addressed with tooth bonding for a more even and brighter smile.


Following teeth shaving, you might experience some minor sensitivity, especially to hot or cold beverages. This usually subsides within a few days. 


Is teeth shaving permanent?

Absolutely. Teeth shaving is a permanent procedure because it removes enamel, the hard outer layer protecting your teeth. Unlike skin or hair, enamel doesn't regenerate. This emphasizes the importance of consulting a qualified dentist to ensure minimal enamel removal and optimal results.


Will teeth shaving weaken my teeth?

Removing a small amount of enamel for teeth shaving shouldn't significantly weaken healthy teeth. Extensive enamel removal can compromise the strength and health of your teeth, making them more susceptible to chipping, cracking, and sensitivity.


Teeth shaving is generally recommended for healthy teeth with sufficient enamel. If your teeth have existing weaknesses or concerns, your dentist might advise against shaving or suggest alternative procedures.


Can teeth shaving fix my gummy smile?

Unfortunately, teeth shaving alone cannot address a gummy smile, which is characterized by excessive gum tissue exposure. However, your dentist might recommend combining teeth shaving with other procedures like gum lifting or crown lengthening to create a more balanced and aesthetically pleasing smile.


Is teeth shaving expensive?

The price will vary depending on several factors, including your location and the dentist's experience, just like with any other dental or orthodontic surgery. One tooth's minor contouring may cost between $50 and $300.


The price range for occlusal equilibration, which entails modifying several teeth and achieving bite balance, is $650 to $1,500. This amount should also cover any necessary follow-up therapy. If you're worried about the expense, consult a dentist.


Shaving your teeth is a secure and efficient method of improving the appearance of your smile after getting braces. It can also be used to fix little defects.


Are there any risks associated with teeth shaving?

While teeth shaving is a safe procedure when performed by a qualified dentist, there are some potential risks. Very skilled dentists minimize this risk, but there's a slight chance of removing more enamel than intended.

As mentioned earlier, some temporary sensitivity is common, but in rare cases, it might persist. The procedure might cause some minor gum irritation, which usually resolves quickly.

The Final Smile: Achieve Your Post-Braces Dream Smile

With braces, getting a straighter, more self-assured grin is an exhilarating experience. However, what would happen if, following treatment, you had an orthodontic emergency such as a broken wire, a loose bracket, or even a small misalignment? At Quest Orthodontics, we recognize how upsetting these circumstances can be and how quickly they need to be handled.


To minimize disruption to your treatment plan and get you back on track as soon as possible, we prioritize emergency visits. All braces emergencies are handled by our experts with skill, including broken wires, loose brackets, and even small post-treatment changes. Our approach to handling your issues will be pleasant and soothing, as we recognize the fear that emergencies can create. Get a consultation today with Quest Orthodontics.

To develop a customized treatment plan that includes tooth shaving as a post-braces refinement option if necessary, we will address any urgent concerns and talk about your long-term goals.

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