Have you ever noticed how infectious a smile can be? Sometimes a friend or stranger smiles right at you and you just can’t help but return it. As a bonus, it gives you a nice warm feeling inside. More and more, research is confirming that smiling not only makes you look better–it makes you feel better. But not everyone has confidence in their smile, and dental problems are a big reason many of us hold back. The good news is there are plenty of options for enhancing your smile so you can let the magic shine through.
Why Is It Good to Smile Every Day?
We tend to think we smile because we’re happy, but studies are showing that the flip side is also true: smiling can actually make us happy. Research is showing links between the physical act of smiling and brain chemistry, and there’s evidence that a smile can boost your mood.
- Smiling reduces stress. Biochemist Sondra Barrett made news with her 2013 book “Secrets of Your Cells” which suggested that smiling releases tension in the body.
- Even fake smiles can help you feel happier. Studies have shown that a full smile that goes all the way to your eyes produces changes in brain activity. It’s a classic case of fake it till you make it: smile until you feel like smiling.
- A Penn State study showed that smiling makes people seem more likable while another study showed that smiling boosts others’ moods.
- Finally, there’s the self-evident truth that dentists have known all along: a beautiful, healthy smile makes you look better, and that boosts confidence.
What Keeps Us From Smiling?
Unfortunately, some of us simply don’t feel confident when we smile. This may be because of damaged or discolored teeth, gummy smiles or orthodontic problems that didn’t get corrected as children. We’ve learned to keep our mouths closed to avoid embarrassment, but what we’re realizing is that we may be depriving ourselves of joy. The good news is, there are all kinds of solutions available to get you smiling again, from simple hygiene to teeth whitening to cosmetic dentistry.
How Can I Enhance My Smile?
There are lots of easy ways to enhance your smile, and if you need a little more help, cosmetic dentistry offers some terrific options for achieving the beautiful white teeth you’re looking for:
- Oral hygiene: basic oral hygiene can go a long way toward enhancing your smile, keeping teeth clean and breath fresh. This includes regular brushing and flossing along with cleanings with your dentist every six months.
- Teeth Whitening: there are a host of over the counter products and whitening toothpastes available if you have mild discoloration. If you have more challenging stains, professional whitening is available in your dentist’s office. The Zoom! professional whitening system offers two options: a quick in-office varnish that allows your dentist to treat teeth safely with powerful whitening agents or a more intensive treatment using LED technology to get teeth up to eight shades whiter.
- BOTOX Cosmetic: guess what–it’s not just for wrinkles anymore. Yes, it still does wonders for those frown lines and “smoker’s” lines on the upper lip. BOTOX can also help with “gummy smile” when your smile shows too much gum below the upper lip by keeping the upper lip tight when you smile.
How Can Cosmetic Dentistry Enhance My Smile?
If your smile needs more than a quick fix, your dentist has a range of cosmetic options to solve almost any problem, from broken or damaged teeth to severe discoloration. Whatever it is, we can likely fix it, and here are some of the best ways:
- Veneers: Veneers are super-thin shells made of tooth-colored porcelain or resin composite, and as the name suggests, they cover your teeth to hide imperfections. Veneers can add length and change the shape of your teeth in addition to whitening. They’re ideal for cracks, chips, small gaps, minor misalignments and deep discolorations.
- Porcelain Crowns: a crown is a dental cap that completely covers a tooth. Crowns can help with both cosmetic and structural problems and are often recommended for teeth with major damage.
- Dental Inlays and Onlays are an alternative restoration procedure to crowns when molars are damaged. They fill a key gap between a regular filling and a full crown.
- Dental Bonding is the perfect cosmetic procedure for minor damage like chips or cracks, especially when only one or two teeth are involved. It involves bonding a tooth-colored resin to your natural tooth, is quick and easy and doesn’t require removing any natural enamel as veneers do.
- Invisalign: the incredibly popular adult orthodontic treatment is available in your family dentist’s office. Invisalign aligners allow patients to achieve the straight teeth they never had as a kid without traditional braces and with minimal inconvenience.
Enhancing Your Smile at Greenhill Family Dental Care
What we’ve learned in our years in family dentistry is that a great smile is about so much more than teeth: it’s about self-confidence and feeling good about yourself. Oral health goes hand in hand with overall physical health, and both of these are big contributors to happiness and well-being. At Greenhill Family Dental Care, our goal for 2020 is to have every client smile more. We want to make smiling comfortable and effortless and give you the confidence to share your smile with others. Whether this involves a simple in-office whitening or a more complex cosmetic procedure, our office can help you achieve your goals on your budget and timeline. Keep smiling!