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by Malloree Lavergne
There’s truth to the old saying “a smile is worth a thousand words.” Smiles can, and do, say much about a person. They portray a variety of characteristics, such as confidence, friendliness, trustworthiness and professionalism. Smiles are also used to convey a variety of emotions—not just happiness—and help you connect with others.
What does your smile say about you? If you’re self-conscious about your smile or the appearance of your mouth or teeth, chances are you don’t smile as often as you’d like. Below are a few ways you and your dentist can bring confidence back to your smile.
If you have one or more missing teeth or a tooth that needs to be extracted and replaced, implants may be a great smile-restoring option for you. Implants offer a durable, permanent solution to tooth loss. They look natural and help restore appearance and functionality to your smile. The process involves implanting a small titanium post into the gum to create a base for the artificial tooth. The post is secured and once the gum has healed, a natural-looking artificial tooth is attached.
Whitening is perhaps the easiest—and least expensive—way to enhance your smile. With so many options, ranging from drugstore strips to professional dental whitening, it’s important to know the benefits and drawbacks so you can pick what’s best for you.
Whitening strips or gels, found at your local drugstore, are inexpensive and can be applied directly to your teeth with results lasting around four months with proper care. Prone to sensitivity? Take extra caution to ensure these products don’t come in contact with your gums.
Another common option is professional dental whitening, which can be done at home with custom bleaching trays or in-office with light therapy. Professional whitening is the safest and quickest option to give you the longest-lasting results. Dental offices use much higher concentrations of whitening gel and monitor the process for reduced sensitivity in the gums and teeth. The downside? It’s a bigger investment than less expensive drugstore remedies.
Perfect for smoothing the lines around your mouth and eyes, plumping your lips or adding some volume to your cheeks, cosmetic treatments such as Botox and Juvéderm can help restore a youthful glow and reduce unwanted wrinkles and creases that appear over time. Both treatments are quick and non-invasive.
Botox works by relaxing the muscles in the face, giving it a smooth and wrinkle-free appearance. It is typically less expensive than Juvéderm, and while initial results can be seen in 24-48 hours, the injections usually take about 7-14 days to take full effect. Botox treatment lasts about 3-6 months.
Juvéderm is also great for smoothing out fine lines and can help give your cheeks and lips youthful volume. It contains a gel that’s made from hyaluronic acid and is designed to “fill in” certain areas of your face. The results may be seen right away or shortly after treatment and can last 1-2 years.
Braces or Aligners
Gone are the days when a mouth full of metal was the primary option for straightening your smile. Thanks to modern technology and advances in orthodontic treatment, there are now several options, many of them relatively discreet.
Along with traditional metal braces, there are ceramic and lingual braces, and clear aligners. Ceramic braces are the same size and shape as metal braces, but they have tooth-colored or clear brackets and wires, helping them blend in with your teeth. Lingual braces are less common but still an option; they are similar to traditional braces, except they’re placed on the inside of the teeth. Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, consist of a custom-made series of aligners that are changed every two weeks and are removed for eating and drinking.
While orthodontic treatment is one of the more costly ways to improve your smile, the results can be worthwhile for many patients.
To learn more about how to enhance your smile through whitening, implants, dermal fillers, or Invisalign, call Robinson Dental Group at 337-474-3636 or visit their website, robinsondentalgroup.net.