Smiling is such an important part of our daily lives. It’s one of the ways that we express joy, and so many of our most important memories are captured on a camera, often with a big smile.
At West 10 Dental, we want you to feel happy and confident in your smile. The most important part of this is taking care of your oral health. Having a Hollywood-quality smile begins with healthy, beautiful teeth. However, if your teeth are damaged or discolored, don’t worry! A beautiful smile is still within reach. There are many techniques in modern dentistry that can help to restore the appearance of your teeth following tooth damage or loss.
Tip #1: Brush and Floss Daily for Healthy Teeth and Gums
Practicing good oral hygiene is the key to maintaining a healthy smile. Brushing at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste will remove food particles and bacteria that can cause your teeth to become stained or damaged over time. Flossing cleans the sides of your teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach. When you floss at least once a day, you also reduce your risk of gum disease, which is a leading cause of tooth loss as you get older.
Follow up your brushing and flossing routine with a fluoride mouthwash, which can also help kill bacteria and preserve the appearance of your teeth.
Tip #2: Eat Tooth-Healthy Foods
Some foods and drinks are healthier for our teeth than others. Reducing sugary food and beverages can help to prevent tooth decay. Coffee and tea can cause your teeth to become stained more quickly over time. Foods that get stuck between your teeth, such as popcorn kernels, can also cause bacteria to build up. To prevent this, it is important to remove food particles quickly, by flossing and brushing after meals.
Tip #3: Stop Smoking
Smoking causes irreversible damage to your teeth and gums. In addition to staining your teeth yellow, smoking can also damage the bone that supports your teeth, degrade gum tissue, and eventually lead to tooth loss.
Tip #4: See Your Dentist for Regular Checkups
Regular checkups are important for maintaining your oral health. Your dentist can help address small problems before they become more serious, and regular cleanings by a professional will keep your smile looking its best.
Tip #5: When Your Teeth are Damaged or Discolored, Cosmetic Dentistry Can Help.
When your teeth become damaged, it can feel impossible to ever have a healthy, beautiful smile again. However, there are many solutions available today that will help restore your damaged teeth. Cosmetic dentistry can repair any level of tooth damage and can range from teeth-whitening to replacing missing teeth. If your teeth are damaged, getting your smile back can be a simple and painless process that will have you looking and feeling your best.
- Fixing Staining and Discoloration: Over time, most people will experience some staining of their teeth. Whitening solutions can be done at home, or at your dentist’s office, and provide a simple and effective way to lighten the color of your teeth.
If you have discoloration or minor damage that cannot be fixed with whitening agents, porcelain veneers can help. A veneer is a thin sheet of porcelain that replaces a small piece of enamel on the front of your tooth. Veneers resist staining, and can also fix other minor cosmetic issues, such as an irregularly shaped tooth, or a gap between teeth.
- Straightening Your Smile: Invisible aligners are a great way to straighten your smile without disrupting your daily life. Aligners slip over your teeth, and gently correct the position of your teeth over time. Since they are nearly invisible, you can wear an aligner throughout your day, and no one will know the difference.
- Replacing Missing Teeth: If you are missing teeth, you might be embarrassed to smile for photographs. However, there are many artificial solutions that look and feel exactly like your natural teeth. These options include dental implants, dental bridges, and traditional or implant-supported dentures. Each option has benefits and drawbacks, so consult with your dentist to see which works best for you.
Having a photogenic smile begins with taking good care of your teeth. Your dental healthcare team can help you keep your natural teeth in great condition, and work with you to find the best solution to restore your smile if your teeth ever become damaged or discolored.