Flippers are a temporary cosmetic "quick-fix." They work wonders for kids who are filming features and commercials, or whenever a change in the natural smile is desired. However, flippers are not functional, meaning they are not strong enough to be used for chewing and can't help support other teeth. They have no benefits to the growth and development of the child's teeth and mouth — they are strictly cosmetic.
Technology allows for a wide range of services that are cosmetic and functional. For example, thanks to dental bonding, dental filling materials are tooth-colored, not metallic. Dental bonding also allows for the repair of tooth fractures within minutes. Bonding may also be applied in order to cosmetically contour misshapen or undersized teeth.
Tooth whitening is a service that has application in pediatric dentistry as well. Caution must be exercised, however, to avoid using chemicals that create sensitivity or changes in the enamel integrity. Children often show yellow or white spots in the face of one or more of the permanent incisors. These spots can be traced to several causative factors, but they can be removed or covered with micro-abrasion and/or bonding.
Early tooth movement may be applied using simple removable retainers designed to idealize the positions of one or more teeth in order to bring about a more attractive and more balanced smile. Sometimes, it is advisable to angle the teeth back to reduce the "bucktooth" appearance. Sometimes, it is advisable to converge teeth that are excessively spaced. Early repositioning of one or more teeth porvides immediate cosmetic improvement, and can have long term benefits to general growth and development of the oral structure.