You’ve heard that yawning is contagious, but did you know that smiling is contagious, too? Of course, if your smile is less-than-perfect because of chipped, stained, or missing teeth, you will probably resist the urge.
Don’t fret — there’s a way to improve your smile. In fact, we have 10 easy ways to make sure your pearly whites are ready for their close-up.
Improve Your Smile at Home
Many people think that teeth whitening, veneers, and dental implants are the only way to improve their smile. And while it’s true that these cosmetic dentistry solutions can certainly give your teeth the ol’ razzle dazzle, why not start with some simple, at-home remedies for a brighter smile?
1. Limit Your Intake of Stain-Causing Foods and Drinks
If your teeth are prone to staining and yellowing, the first step is to start watching what you eat and drink. Some culprits of dingy teeth include red wine, cola, coffee and tea, and blueberries.
Can’t give up your Coke? Try drinking it through a straw, which will minimize the liquid’s contact with your teeth.
Another way to minimize the effects of dark-colored beverages and foods on your smile is to brush your teeth as soon as possible after enjoying them.
2. Eat Food Rich in Fiber
Crunchy foods, like apples and celery, can help scrub away plaque that causes tooth decay, leading to a healthier mouth. And fiber-rich foods will also help to get your saliva flowing.
Experts say that the calcium and phosphate in saliva will restore your teeth’s natural minerals. Of course, foods that are rich in fiber will also help your overall health, giving you even more reason to smile!
3. Try a Baking Soda Scrub
Baking soda is a gentle, natural way to whiten and polish your teeth. And chances are that you already have a box of the stuff in your cupboard, so why not give this teeth whitening remedy a whirl?
It’s simple, too. Just pour a tablespoon into your palm, wet your toothbrush, and dip the brush into the baking soda. Brush your teeth as usual, replenishing the baking soda as needed.
4. Rinse with Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is another bleaching agent, and some celebrities swear by using it as a mouthwash to help keep teeth white.
Dentists recommend using a 1.5% or 3% hydrogen peroxide solution, and swishing it in your mouth before brushing your teeth. Note that this whitening method won’t produce instant results, but over time you may see a difference.
5. Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Products
In fact, hydrogen peroxide is often listed among the ingredients of OTC teeth whitening toothpastes, gels, and strips.
Again, these products won’t give you a gleaming white smile overnight, so don’t expect dramatic results. Used regularly, however, they can help reduce staining and yellowing.
Turn to the Pros to Improve Your Smile
Maybe you’ve tried these home remedies and haven’t seen much of a difference, or maybe you have persistent yellowing, chipping, cracking, or other issues that prevent you from smiling.
Not to worry, there are plenty of cosmetic dentistry solutions to help improve your smile!
6. Take-Home Whiteners
The teeth whitening products available from a cosmetic dentist’s office like DentaCare are stronger than those available at drugstores. You have two options for professionally whitening teeth: in-office treatments or custom take-home solutions.
Take-home teeth whitening is popular because, well, it can be done in the comfort of your own home! It’s also usually less expensive than the in-office treatment.
7. Crowns, Bridges, and Implants
If you are missing one or two teeth, bridges can help fill the gap! Crowns are another good way to cover up an unsightly tooth. Ask your dentist if these are a good answer to your smiling troubles.
Dental implants may also work well if you are missing just a few teeth. These are natural looking, don’t require any special care, and will often last for decades.
Porcelain veneers are a more comprehensive solution, and are used in cases when the patient’s own teeth are misaligned, yellow, cracked and/or chipped. Veneers consist of a wafer-thin, tooth-colored shell that is bonded directly to natural teeth.
Unfortunately, veneers often require a lot of upkeep, and they can be expensive. It’s almost like owning a performance automobile or a yacht — there’s a high initial investment, and the maintenance is also costly.
Lumineers are the newest alternative to traditional veneers. These are extremely thin — think of a contact lens that is placed on the tooth — and are made from a patented porcelain material that resists staining and chipping.
Unlike ordinary veneers, Lumineers can last up to 20 years. They are also quicker and less painful, and most patients will need only two or three trips to the cosmetic dentist.
Yes, dentures are a last resort for most people. And if you’ve ever seen a video of someone’s teeth falling out of their mouth as they blow out their birthday candles — or if you were traumatized as a child by your grandmother taking out her teeth — you understand why.
These days, however, dentures are no longer your grandma’s false teeth. Advances techniques in both manufacturing dentures and fitting them mean that they are often indistinguishable from the patient’s natural teeth.
High-quality dentures also allow people to chew, talk, and smile without issues. You don’t have to worry about biting into an apple, gum irritation, or a lisp, the way denture wearers of yesteryear did.
Have you ever been embarrassed by your smile? Envious of those celebrities (or even your friends) who have even, gleaming, bright white teeth? You don’t have to be.
You can improve your smile safely and easily, using home remedies and simple cosmetic dental procedures. Forget what you think you know about teeth straightening, teeth whitening, bridges, veneers, and dentures. Today’s cosmetic dental technologies have improved by leaps and bounds.
Get started today by contacting a cosmetic dentist near you! In the meantime, be sure to check back regularly for more health and beauty tips, which we post often on our blog.