An improved smile is something that a lot of people want and work hard to achieve through various techniques and treatments. Unfortunately, crooked teeth are inherited genetically and so are other problems that can cause the teeth to break easily. Some of the most common teeth issues are broken teeth, cavities, chipped/cracked teeth, crooked teeth, discolored teeth, gapped teeth, and missing teeth. Fortunately, all of these issues can be corrected to give you a better smile and to improve your oral health altogether.
#1: Basic Dental Hygiene
The first place to start when trying to improve both the look and health of your smile is with good dental habits. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day; some people choose to brush after every meal. Also, choose whitening toothpastes/mouthwashes to help whiten your teeth, and enamel-strengthening toothpastes/mouthwashes to help make your teeth stronger and keep them from breaking or chipping.
Healthy eating habits also play an important role in the look and health of your teeth. Crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples and carrots can help strengthen and whiten your teeth. Not to mention, how they’re good for your overall health.
Bonding is a process where dentists apply a composite resin to the surface of the teeth. It can be used to make teeth appear whiter, but it’s most often used to correct gapped, chipped, or broken teeth. Dental bonding can fill in gaps between teeth, reshape broken teeth, and can even correct crooked and uneven teeth.
Braces have been used for over a century as a way of straightening teeth, and metal braces have been the traditional type for years. Even though there are other alternatives to metal braces, they’re still the most common type among children and teeneagers. Fortunately, metal braces are much more comfortable and smaller than they once were, and they also aren’t as painful as before.
Ceramic braces are made to look like natural teeth, but they work in the same way as metal braces. Those (particularly adults and teenagers) who wish to straighten their teeth in a discreet way may choose ceramic braces if they’re not good candidates for clear aligners.
Clear aligners have been the preferred way of straightening teeth for the past 20 years. They’re discreet, removable, and overall much more comfortable than other types of braces.
Lingual braces are just like traditional metal braces, except they’re put on behind the teeth— another discreet option. However, not all orthodontists are qualified to install lingual braces (installation isn’t exactly the same as traditional metal braces), so this option isn’t as popular as the others.
Fillings are often used to fill in cavities that can form in the teeth due to poor dental hygiene and other reasons. This procedure can also be used to repair minor chips in teeth. Fillings are usually performed on teeth that can’t be seen when you smile, whereas bonding is much more common on the front teeth.
Dental implants are the most common solution for those who have missing teeth. They can be removable or permanent, and they’re surgically implanted into the mouth where the missing tooth/teeth is/are. Anyone with missing teeth and health gums and bones can be eligible for a dental implant to improve their smile, however, most insurance plans do not cover dental implants.
Dental veneers are porcelain covers that are permanently adhered to the affected teeth. Veneers are used to correct broken, chipped, crooked, or gapped teeth. Many people love this option because veneers are stain resistant and can last up to 20 years or more. However, they’re pretty expensive and require your natural teeth to be shaved down before application.
The good news is that there are temporary and inexpensive veneer options available. Snap-on veneers, in particular, are becoming more popular because there’s no need to visit a dentist, they’re much more affordable than traditional veneers, and they improve the appearance of your smile.
With any type of solution to improve the appearance of your smile, it’s still important to have good oral health. Again, remember to brush and floss at least twice a day and limit the amount of junk food, coffee/black tea, and red wine you consume to avoid discoloration. Also, abstain from smoking to keep your teeth white and your entire mouth healthy.