Don’t hide behind your grin, show some teeth
The eyes may be the windows to the soul but the smile is often the window to the personality. Timid or coy? Boisterous or exuberant? The way you grin can say a lot about the person you are. However, many of us might have things we don’t appreciate about our smiles. We might consider our teeth not white enough, be self-conscious of a crooked tooth, or embarrassed at showing too much gum.
The good news is that you can do something about it, and it starts with talking with your dentist candidly about things you may not like about your smile. “It gives us license to approach the subject,” says Dr. Tyson Roe, DDS, of Garden Gate Dental, who emphasizes the importance of restoring one’s smile in his practice.
However, he quickly notes there are plenty of treatment options for issues big or small, that can make you feel self-conscious about your smile. One common complaint is yellowing or teeth that don’t appear white enough. Over-the-counter toothpastes and gel strips aren’t very effective and not worth the price. But Dr. Roe says professional whitening systems are quite effective. The practice makes custom trays for patients that are worn at night or at least two to three hours before bedtime for those who don’t like sleeping with them in place. To keep teeth white, rinse your mouth with water after drinking coffee, tea or red wine. It helps neutralize the acids, which can eat away at enamel, says Dr. Roe.
For those with crooked teeth or problematic bites, Dr. Roe often refers patients to an orthodontist. However, there are several solutions to address issues with size, shape or color. Veneers, he says, are one of the greatest options to ensure a natural and beautiful smile. Essentially thin shells of porcelain or resin composite that are bonded to teeth, veneers can resolve large gaps, chipped or broken teeth, misaligned or irregular shapes. Though the restoration can be on the pricier side, about $1,000 per tooth for porcelain, Dr. Roe says he tries to give patients three options at varying price levels that offer good, better and best solutions.
The important fact, he says, is that people don’t take their teeth for granted and prioritize care.
“The prettiest teeth are a person’s natural teeth,” he adds. “Keeping them healthy is the most important part.”