New Year, New Ways to Improve Your Smile
With 2018 in full swing, it’s time to put the previous year behind us and start making some smile goals that are worth sticking to. A healthy mouth can result in a beautiful smile, but it also provides a foundation for a healthier you. To improve your smile this year and anytime, you should always begin with preventive care. Preventative care is how to make sure you keep your permanent teeth for a lifetime!
Gingivitis is a warning sign that you need to step up your oral hygiene. You may tell your dentist that you brush and floss on a regular basis, but are you telling the truth? If you spit a little blood in the sink when you brush your teeth, this is a symptom of gingivitis. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and though it’s reversible, your oral care routine should never be this inconsistent. To prevent periodontal disease and dental decay in any form, follow these tips:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with American Dental Association (ADA) approved toothpaste.
- Clean between your teeth after every meal or at least twice a day with threaded floss or an interdental cleaner.
- Rinse with fluoride-containing mouthwash or reach for an antiseptic mouthwash that kills bacteria.
- Eat nutritious, balanced meals and limit snacking to prevent carbohydrates and sugars that lead to tooth decay from clinging to teeth between brushings.
- Visit the dentist regularly for professional cleanings and an oral exam.
While preventive dentistry focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of dental diseases, cosmetic dentistry targets the appearance of the teeth, mouth, and overall smile. Cosmetic procedures can also restore and repair teeth that have been damaged due to decay or have been chipped or fractured.
Common cosmetic dental procedures include:
- Teeth whitening – For those who are looking to enhance the shade of their teeth, teeth whitening can be completed professionally in the office or your dentist may offer a take-home gel so that you can whiten your teeth in the comfort of your own home.
- Dental veneers – Veneers are thin, porcelain laminate shells, which are adhesively bonded to the surface of a tooth to correct and repair chips and cracks in the teeth. Veneers are ideal for correcting teeth that are misshapen, or lackluster in color.
- Dental bonding – Dental bonding is the least expensive option for repairing teeth that are chipped, cracked, discolored, or decayed. Dental bonding uses a composite resin (plastic) and mimics the look of tooth enamel.
Restorative dental care is necessary for patients who are missing teeth that have been lost due to decay or dental trauma. These techniques may overlap with cosmetic dental procedures because both are designed to improve the look and feel of one’s natural smile.
Common restorative dental procedures include:
- Dental implants – If you are missing teeth, dental implants act as an artificial tooth root to look and function like a normal tooth. Often, the result is not only a healthier smile but a younger looking appearance because missing teeth can make the facial muscles sag – making a person look older than they are.
- Dentures – Dentures are a less-invasive way to replace missing teeth. There are different types of dentures on the market that range from full to partial sets to conserve healthy tooth structure.
- Full mouth reconstruction – Depending on the individual case, a full mouth makeover will focus on all three of these types of dentistry.
Whether you need to see a dentist for restorative work or improve your oral care routine at home, now is the time to shape up your smile!