Tag Archives: dental flipper

Can a Dental Flipper Make My Teeth Look Straight?

I want to have straight-looking teeth but am way too old for braces. I was thinking that I could get a dental flipper that could make my teeth look straight if I put it on top of them.


Dear Tracey,

A dental flipper
A dental flipper

I think you may be confusing a dental flipper for something like a Snap-on Smile. A dental flipper is a temporary tooth replacement. It doesn’t cover your teeth as much as just fill in an empty spot while you save up for a more permanent tooth replacement.

Snap-on Smile, on the other hand, will fit over your teeth. However, you need to be aware of their limitations. First, it is made of Acrylic. It will look okay at a distance, but not as natural when people see them close up. Second, it will not last very long just about two to three years. If you are okay with those limitations, you can see a dentist to get started. However, I have an alternative you may want to consider.

Invisalign: The Modern Alternative to Braces

Invisalign versus braces
Traditional Braces versus Invisalign

You don’t have to get traditional braces with their metal wires and brackets anymore. These days, Invisalign is a great option. Instead of using metal, it uses clear aligners to straighten your teeth. You can get your teeth straightened without anyone ever knowing.

There is also a hidden benefit to using these clear aligners. Not only will you get your teeth straightened, but the aligners can double as teeth whitening trays. This will enable you to straighten and whiten your teeth at the same time, giving you a mini smile makeover.

This blog is brought to you by Gilbert Dentist Dr. Matt Roper.
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Dental Flippers for Toddlers

I would love some advice from you. I have a three-year-old who lost his front teeth due to a nasty fall that caused some nerve damage. I am really worried about his other teeth shifting into the open space. I asked our pediatric dentist for a dental flipper for him and he acted like I was insane. I know we’ll have to cover the cost because he’s on Medicaid and they hardly cover anything and I don’t mind paying. However, the only do-it-yourself ones to purchase online are only for adults. Do you know where I can get one for children?


Dear Beatrice,

Toddler in a dental chair

I am glad that you are trying to be proactive about your child’s teeth. There are situations where teeth are at risk to shift into the empty spaces, but that is with back teeth, especially the molars that need to stay in place until your child is twelve years old. With the front teeth, there really is not the same risk. Let’s say that he did have a back tooth come out. You would not use a dental flipper, however, for a couple of reasons. The first is it is removable. When you are dealing with a toddler, they will have a hard time keeping it in, which means it can’t do its job and they are likely to lose it. It can also be a choking hazard. A second issue will be how much he will be growing, which includes his jaw. You’d have to get a new one way too often. Instead, when a child loses a back tooth, we use a space maintainer. This is not removable by the child and will serve him for many years.

Though your dentist was correct about not getting a dental flipper, I am not convinced that he is serving you well. As a parent, it is your responsibility to look out for the best interest of your child. That includes asking questions about treatments. He should not have made you feel foolish. You may want to consider looking for another dentist. It does not have to be a pediatric dentist. There are family dentists who work very well with children. Then your whole family could attend the same clinic.

This blog is brought to you by Gilbert Dentist Dr. Matt Roper.

Can a Dental Flipper Make Teeth Look Straight?

I have crooked teeth but feel I am too old for braces. I’ve heard about a dental flipper that can snap onto your teeth and make them look straight. Will this really work?


Dear Theresa,

A dental flipper

A dental flipper

I think whoever told you this had a dental flipper confused with the snap-on smile. A dental flipper is used to replace a missing tooth. It does not fit over a tooth. In case someone reading this is looking into tooth replacement options, a flipper is considered a temporary replacement. It’s inexpensive and people use it to give themselves a “tooth” while they save up for a permanent replacement, such as a dental implant.

Having a Straight Smile Without Braces

Snap-on Smile is something that will snap over your teeth in order to make them look better. They will not look stunning, like they would with porcelain veneers but they will look okay. They are more suitable for something like a photoshoot or one-night class reunion. They are made of acrylic and would need to be replaced every few years.

An image of Invisalign aligners

These days we have better options than ye olde fashioned traditional braces. Now, there is Invisalign. Instead of metal wires and brackets, it uses clear aligners. These are invisible, even at a conversational distance. These are more comfortable than braces and work in significantly less time.

You can go with the snap-on smile and it will give you a decent temporary solution. My suggestion, however, would be to plan long term and get Invisalign. It has an additional hidden benefit of enabling you to whiten your teeth at the same time as you straighten them. The aligners can double as teeth whitening trays. It is like getting a mini smile makeover at a fraction of the cost.

This blog is brought to you by Gilbert Dentist Dr. Matt Roper.
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