If perfectly straight teeth and visions of a new smile are dancing in your head day and night, there are things that you can do to help you get those pearly whites in line with your vision. If you believe that your smile is an important part of who you are, you are not alone, about 97% of adults believe their smile is a big social asset.
A new smile can be life-changing. Our smile says so much about who we are. How much we smile is affected by how we feel about your smile. When you feel confident about your smile, it definitely shows.
Why a Great Smile is Important
Whether you are on an 18-hole golf course socializing or you are worried about getting hired by one of those sales jobs you applied for, your smile can make a difference. People make decisions about who you are long before you say a word.
Let’s look at what happened to Flo (our imaginary office worker). She went for years of speech therapy to get rid of his lisp and to gain confidence, but with all that therapy she was left with little time to address his serious overbite. She thought that getting rid of the lisp would be enough. Unfortunately, her lack of self-confidence about hers smile kept her from interacting with people.
All of Flo’s office mates thought she was mean because she never smiled. She was often left out of social gatherings because she never smiled. Even through phone systems, people can “hear the smile” in your voice and of course, when you are not smiling. A new smile can change not only self-perception but the perception of other people.
Around 75% of US residents report that they believe a nice smile attracts the opposite sex. According to the American Dental Association when participants were asked what they found to be the most important feature in a person, a smile, outranked how someone’s hair looked, their weight, and several other features, as the number one feature that determined attractiveness. This means that paying all that money for hair extensions is less important than seeing the dentist.
A smile that is discolored can age you. A new smile can easily take years off your face and is a far more potent anti-aging remedy than age spot cream is. A bright new smile will make you look ten years younger according to surveys.
Your smile speaks volumes about who you are. People are drawn to people that seem happy based on their smiles. Don’t be like Flo, get the new smile that you feel great about, or improve what you have and smile more often.
Some Basic Information
For some people it is not about getting a brand new smile, it is more about improving the smile that they have. Simple things like toothpaste for teeth whitening and avoiding coffee to keep the stains down to a minimum can help.
The fact is whether you want a new smile or not, healthy teeth are your first step in getting any cosmetic work done to improve your smile. Most dentists will not do any cosmetic work unless the teeth are healthy.
Other things you can do to improve your smile, all revolve around good oral hygiene. Healthy teeth are attractive teeth, doing what you can to improve your oral health, can make it easier if you decide that you just need a new smile:
- Visit your dentist twice a year to have professional cleanings are done and a complete exam. Early intervention for cavities and other oral health issues can make a huge difference in keeping your teeth healthy. Ask your dentist about sealants to help prevent decay.
- Floss everyday. Flossing helps to remove plaque and food stuck in between teeth, it also helps to keep your gums healthy. Over 18% of adults do not floss at all. Using toothpaste for teeth whitening helps keep your smile bright as well.
- A healthy diet can help with a healthy smile. Sugary foods and beverages can really amp up the decay process. Stay away from highly acidic foods as well. Enamel is the toughest substance in the human body, but acidic foods can eat away at the enamel.
- Brush your teeth at least two times a day. After every meal is preferable. Brushing prevents tooth decay, keeps your breath smelling great, and can help to keep stains and discoloration down to a minimum.
Follow all the above tips and you may not be able to change the structure of your teeth but you will be able to get them into great shape so that the dentist can if you decide you want a new smile.
How Do You Get a New Smile?
Dental technologies have improved by leaps and bounds over the last couple of decades. Everything from dental fillings to how missing teeth are addressed has changed. Today there is literally a dental solution for everything you do not like about your smile.
A new smile for every vision can be created by a talented dentist. There is a litany of solutions that can elongate your teeth, straighten your teeth, replace missing teeth, whiten your teeth, change the shape of your teeth, you name what you want to be done and there is a dental solution to get it done.
Let’s take a look at some of the dental procedures that are available and how they can help you to get that new smile that you have been hoping for:
- Implants, bridges, dentures are all options for replacing missing teeth. A dentist can easily provide you with the best option for replacing missing teeth. Implants are a great option that replaces missing teeth with a permanent fixture. Implants look and feel natural and can help to protect against bone loss. Bridges can be permanent or removable. They are typically used to replace several missing teeth. Dentures are made to replace all your teeth.
- Braces, Invisalign bracing systems are the solution for misaligned teeth, overbites, underbites, and crossbites. Many adults prefer the Invisalign system because it is barely noticeable and they feel more confident wearing them. Traditional metal braces are called for in certain situations.
- Crowns are used in several different dental procedures including root canals. Caps or crowns, cap the natural tooth to protect the tooth, repair chipped teeth, and more.
- Bonding, fillings, and veneers. Dental bonding and fillings can be used to build up your teeth, fill cavities, and change the shape of your teeth. Veneers are jackets that slip over your natural teeth that can elongate teeth, change the shape of teeth and cover up discolored teeth that did not respond to other treatments.
There are many ways that a dentist can help you to get the new smile that you want, and most importantly help you to keep your mouth healthy.
Your best resource for learning more about dental procedures to get a new smile is you, dentist. They will assess your current oral health, talk to you about what you want to change about your smile, then provide you with a personalized treatment plan.
There has been a never better time to get that new smile that you have always wanted. There are more options than ever that can change your smile for the better.
It Is Not Just About Your Look
While having a great smile is highly coveted it is certainly not the only reason to get the new smile that you want. There is quite a bit of research that correlates oral health with overall health. Recent studies seem to indicate that there is a correlation between oral health and heart disease.
Infected teeth can cause infections that spread to other areas of your body. Gum disease can cause tooth loss. There are a lot of health reasons you should ensure that your teeth are in good condition.
Your teeth play a vital role in your digestion. They are the first step in your digestion process. When you have missing or painful teeth you are missing out on a vital part of the process.
A new smile in many cases is not a luxury just to improve your appearance it is about good health and feeling good. Oral pain can be debilitating. Not feeling good about your smile can be socially crippling for you.
How To Pay for a New Smile
Most dental insurance plans do not cover cosmetic work but they do cover “medically necessary work”. There are other credit programs that you can apply for to help pay for your cosmetic work. Your dentist may offer a pay as you go plan.
A lot of people do not realize that there are a lot more “medically necessary” procedures available than they think. For example, all of the following could fall into the medically necessary category:
- A crown after a root canal. While the insurance company may not cover 100% there may be a percentage that they will cover if the root canal was done and the crown is needed to keep the tooth healthy after the procedure.
- Dentures and bridges, the insurance company likely pays up to 50% for these types of treatment options. You have to have teeth to eat with. Most insurance companies are still not covering the costs of implants for tooth replacement, but you may want to check with yours just in case they are a little more progressive.
- Dental insurance companies will pay for fillings, tooth extractions, exams, cleanings and a wide range of other dental health needs.
The best way to pay for any off the insurance type procedures is to speak to your dental office about payment options and other financing options they may have. A lot of dentists do have financing options because they understand the value of a new smile and they also understand that the dental insurance companies can be hard-pressed to pay for certain procedures.
In some cases you can file a claim with your medical health insurance company and they will pick up part of the costs. This is a little known option that many people (including dental offices) are not aware of.
Your health insurance may cover certain dental procedures because after all, your health is at risk if you do not have the work done. Of course, you will largely be responsible for filing the claim with your health insurance and doing battle with them if necessary to get reimbursed, but it is well worth the effort. Nothing ventured is nothing gained. You should at least try.
Weigh Your Options
Before you throw in the towel on the new smile dream, weigh your options carefully. How much is having the perfect new smile worth to you? Are you willing to drink less coffee in order slow down the staining of your teeth?You likely spend a lot of money on things that are not as important to you as your smile is. Are you willing to give up a vacation this year to have the new smile you want for the rest of your life?
Talk to your dentist about your options. Your new smile may be far more affordable than you ever dreamed of. New dental technologies have made it more affordable than ever to get the work done that you need to feel good about your smile.
There are solutions that are available that can be affordable and really put that smile back on your face. You deserve to feel great about how you look. You deserve to get out there and show the world those pearly whites.
If your smile has always kept you from smiling, there is no better time than now, to make an appointment with your dentist and learn about your options. Do it today.