Last Updated on 1 month by Isreal Olabanji DST RN
Achieving a beautiful smile is something that a lot of people should care about. Of course, it starts with proper dental care, such as learning how to brush the teeth properly, flossing regularly, and avoiding foods that can stain the teeth. Taking care of your teeth will keep them as healthy as possible and you’ll have protection against cavities. It’ll also help give you a smile that you can be confident of.
However, as the years pass by while you’re cruising through each of life’s major stages, you’ll probably notice that your beloved smile could probably use more work. Teeth that were as white as pearl may seem like a stained eggshell now. Similarly, perfectly aligned teeth may now need some straightening.
Fortunately, there are ways to enhance your smile, such as through cosmetic procedures. Even facial exercises, which you can do at home, can add to the improvements that dental treatments bring. Read on below to learn more!
Cosmetic Dental Procedures
With today’s dentistry, patients who want to enhance their smiles have a lot of options and treatment combinations to choose from. Patients are bound to find a way for them to improve their smile’s beauty no matter their timeline or budget.
Here are some dental treatments offered by orthodontists nowadays to enhance one’s smile.
In-Office Teeth Whitening
When it comes to their smiles, most people fixate on their teeth’s colour. There can be several different reasons why teeth can turn yellow, and each requires its own call to action. A dentist can find the right approach for those whites to get pearly.
A quick way to enhance your teeth’s appearance is teeth whitening or teeth bleaching. This removes stains and discolouration, brightening one’s teeth.
The good thing about teeth bleaching is that it’s an overall quick and painless process. To remove bacteria and any particles that could interfere with the process, a dental hygienist will first clean the teeth and gums. Next, the dentist will protect the gums by covering them and using ultraviolet light to activate the whitening solution after applying it. The dentist may repeat the process a few times until your desired whiteness is achieved.
Most teeth whitening lasts for at least six months, with some lasting up to two years, depending on the patient’s lifestyle and diet.
While you can use at-home teeth whitening kits, they’re not as effective as doing the procedure with a dentist. Because of a lower concentration of bleach, the over-the-counter, one-size-fits-all kits don’t deliver good enough results for some people.
Another dental cosmetic procedure that can help enhance one’s smile is dental bonding. In this treatment, a dentist will apply a tooth-colored resin to the teeth. The resin will act as a restorative material to restore the tooth’s strength and function and hide cosmetic defects. The bonding uses resin composites that are capable of exactly matching your teeth’s natural shade and color. As a result, the restored tooth becomes virtually indistinguishable from the natural tooth.
Like teeth whitening, dental bonding is also a safe and straightforward procedure. In fact, a dentist can complete it in just under thirty minutes. First, the dentist will remove cavities from the affected tooth. An etchant will then be applied over the tooth’s surface to partially demineralize the prepared surface and enhance bonding. Finally, the dentist will apply the resin filling and use LED visible light to polymerize the material.
If you have a non-symmetrical gumline or a gummy smile, gum contouring is for you. This procedure removes excess gum tissue even without surgery. A dentist can perform gum contouring on a single tooth or multiple teeth.
Gum contouring traditionally uses a scalpel, but, thanks to modern technology, laser dentistry is now being offered. Dental lasers gently shape your gums, reducing pain and minimizing recovery time.
Compared to other cosmetic treatments, gum contouring is less expensive. Typically, the procedure only takes one appointment with a dentist.
Like dental bonding and teeth whitening, enameloplasty or enamel shaping is a relatively easy and quick fix for irregular tooth shape, uneven enamel, and small chips. However, the process of enamel shaping involves removing a small enamel amount, making it permanent, unlike dental bonding. The removal of a small enamel amount is known as slenderizing or stripping.
Patients should set a consultation with a dentist before committing to enamel shaping. This is to assess the enamel’s thickness in your teeth. The dentist will advise you to consider veneers or dental bonding if your teeth’s enamel is too thin. That’s because, with thin enamel, you’ll likely be an unsuitable candidate for the enamel shaping procedure.
To recontour and smooth out your teeth, your dentist will use a sanding disc or paper. Note that your teeth will become more sensitive to cold and heat during the process since the enamel is being stripped, resulting in the dentin being more exposed. Like gum contouring, enamel shaping is also an inexpensive way to enhance your smile.
These very thin shells restore teeth function and aesthetics by attaching them to the front surface of your teeth. The following cosmetic problems require this treatment:
- Cosmetic correction of diastema or excessive teeth gaps
- Restoration of the aesthetics of crooked or chipped teeth
- Hiding permanent teeth stains that can’t be removed through in-office whitening
- Complete smile makeover
Note that there are two types of veneers. Check this website to learn more about them and to know which type fits you best.
To attach the porcelain veneers, the dentist will take out a thin layer of your natural tooth structure from the front side. Together with the prepared tooth, an impression of the teeth will then be made and sent to the laboratory afterwards. Finally, using adhesive cement, the dentist will attach the prepared veneers to the teeth.
A crown is one of your best options when your tooth is severely decayed or damaged. It’s especially true when the suggested alternative is extracting your tooth.
Crowns are a tooth-shaped cap that dentists place over an existing tooth. This will improve your tooth’s function and strength. Crowns are custom-designed so they feel and look like one of your natural teeth. They enhance the appearance of your smile without anyone noticing that they’re cosmetic products.
Depending on how well patients care for it and the material used, crowns typically last from five to fifteen years on average.
Most adults struggle when it comes to maintaining their dental health because their teeth aren’t correctly aligned. This is where adult braces come in and become of great help.
Braces not only help maintain healthier-looking gums and teeth but also in teeth straightening. It makes a tremendous difference in how good your smile looks overall. It’s essential to note that adult braces can also prevent several jaw issues such as temporomandibular joint disease (TMJ), headaches, and bone loss. Thus, it can do wonders for your jaw’s health, too.
Invisalign Clear Aligners
Many people don’t undergo orthodontic treatment using braces despite having considerable tooth misalignment because of their unaesthetic metallic appearance. Instead, they opt for Invisalign clear aligners.
The Invisalign orthodontic system uses several sets of removable aligners made of a transparent plastic material. That’s why they’re virtually invisible whenever you smile or speak. Invisalign is perfect for treating mild to moderate orthodontic problems.
The Invisalign orthodontic system’s design works in such a way that it’ll move the patient’s teeth in the desired direction after around two weeks. The orthodontist will then replace it with a brand-new set of invisible aligners to continue the alignment of the teeth. The process will continue until your teeth have become aligned perfectly. The final result will give you a beautiful and charming smile.
Clear Invisalign aligners have become one of the most preferred orthodontic treatments worldwide due to their superior esthetics and convenience.
This cosmetic procedure is the go-to option for people who are missing one or more teeth. Dental implants are the only teeth restoration option that replaces the tooth from root to crown.
Dental implants provide the following benefits:
- Cost-effectiveness, saving the patient money in the long run
- Permanent restoration so patients don’t have to worry about it slipping around or falling out
- Full functionality for more confidence and comfort when chewing and speaking
- Prevention of shifting teeth and some other additional dental problems
- Preserved bone structure, preventing or stopping premature aging
With proper care, the implant’s small titanium post should last a lifetime. Besides, it’s your new tooth root anyway, so you have to care for it. Handling it with care will also make such an investment worth it.
If you need a filling or a replacement for an existing one, ask about composite fillings. Instead of using silver amalgam, composite fillings use tooth-coloured material. This type of filling is safer and more durable compared to traditional metal fillings. That’s primarily because they bond with your tooth tightly.
Additionally, this type of filling doesn’t contract or expand with cold and hot temperatures. Also, no one will know that you’re wearing fillings since the tooth-coloured ones blend seamlessly with an individual’s smile.
Old Filling Renewal
Most people tend to have this common misconception regarding their old fillings that they last forever. However, even the most durable fillings still need to be replaced eventually.
Thankfully, old filling renewal options are cost-friendly and straightforward. They can make a significant difference when it comes to how your smile works without doing anything drastic in the process.
Old filling renewals are generally a predominantly cosmetic dentistry procedure. However, like most of the other treatment options you have, it also significantly helps protect an individual’s overall dental health. So, regularly schedule an appointment with your dentist to have an idea when your old filling should be renewed.
Exercises To Enhance Your Smile
Similar to your body, there are muscles in your face. That’s why you can improve your smile by performing facial exercises. You can also reduce ageing grooves, improve skin elasticity, and perfect your smile.
In addition to the cosmetic dental procedures above, you can perform the following exercises for an enhanced smile:
Mandible Strengthening Exercises
Focus your efforts on your muscles that perform lifting motions to maintain your facial harmony. Mandible strengthening exercises help reduce ageing grooves or double chins on your face’s lower portion. These exercises engage most of the muscles in your face, which is why orthodontists highly recommend them.
Face Lift Exercises
The lack of toning of facial muscles will result in a deepened nasal labial fold, an effaced lip contour, and facial sagging. You can perform facelift exercises to tone your facial muscles. They work by conditioning and toning muscles that end at the front and back of the upper lip and edge of the nose. After consistent practise for three to five months, the results of facelift exercises will become more evident.
This involves repetitive voluntary smiles that can help exercise your face’s action muscles. Movements target the elevation and retraction muscles of the oral cavity. This method’s goal is to make the facial muscles through their whole range of operations while you’re in a sitting or standing position and by using a mirror. During the exercises, you’ll have to use fingers as weights to naturally strengthen these muscles.
Each dental cosmetic procedure and exercise listed above offers its own special benefits for many patients. The most desirable results can be achieved by mixing and matching them.
For instance, some patients combine veneers and gum contouring, while others get dental bonding along with enamel shaping. Just keep in mind that you or the dentist should always try conserving as much of the natural structure of your tooth as possible. It’s something that you shouldn’t miss out on regardless of the procedure you’re undertaking.
When it comes to enhancing your smile, it’s vital that you get treated by a dental professional who’s highly trained in the use of the latest techniques and materials. Only work with a dentist whose specialization is in cosmetic dentistry and one who can come up with a good plan to help you achieve the perfect smile you’ve been dreaming of for a long time.
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