Reclaiming a Healthy, Beautiful Smile on a Tight Schedule
The human smile is surprisingly unique and complex. We’re among some of the only creatures on earth who are known to smile out of joy, but joy is the emotion we think of most often when we think of a smile. Despite this, our smiles are capable of expressing so much more than just joy. We use them to express awkwardness, anger, submission, and more—a range of complexity so thorough that experts can’t agree on how many types of smiles there are! Smiles help us relate to and communicate with the world around us, but they also play functional roles in our daily lives, helping us to eat, speak, and swallow.
As a result, taking care of our smiles means taking care of their health and appearance. When you’re on a tight schedule, however, setting aside time to improve your smile can feel difficult—but it’s not impossible! There are many ways you can quickly improve the health and appearance of your smile. Here are 10 ways we can help you manage it even on a tight schedule.
Visit the Dentist Regularly
Ideally, everyone should visit the dentist every six months for a dental evaluation and professional cleaning. Each appointment takes less than an hour, but it plays a vital role in ensuring that your teeth and gums are healthy. If you do have cavities or gum disease, regular appointments ensure that Dr. Tomasik can detect issues early, so more minor treatments can be used to resolve them. When gum disease is caught early, for example, it can often be treated at home by flossing daily and using an antibacterial mouthwash. Plus, since hardened tartar is tinted yellow and can’t be removed during your at-home oral hygiene routine, a professional dental cleaning can help your teeth look a little whiter and brighter!
Limit Staining Foods and Drinks
Our teeth start out white, but they often become stained over time from exposure to certain foods and drinks. Tomato-based sauces, food with soy sauce or balsamic vinegar, and drinks like coffee and wine are just a few examples of foods and drinks that can stain your teeth. Limiting or giving up these items is an easy way to keep your teeth from staining in the first place and improve that beautiful smile.
Get Professional Whitening Treatments
If you can’t drop your coffee habit, don’t worry—we’ve got you! Professional whitening treatments can whiten your teeth by multiple shades, and they’re now more flexible than ever. You can whiten your teeth by as many as 10 shades in a single hour-long visit to our office or you can choose to do it at home. These at-home professional whitening kits brighten your teeth in a few weeks using a customized dental tray and prescription-strength whitening gel. Once you’ve whitened your teeth, you can keep them white for longer through dietary choices, whitening toothpaste, and touch-up treatments once or twice a year. This is a simple way to improve your smile.
Consider Getting Dental Veneers to Transform Your Dental Cosmetics
Dental veneers are thin, tooth-shaped pieces of porcelain that are applied to the surface of your teeth to change their size, shape, or shade. They’re versatile enough to quickly resolve a wide range of dental issues, including protecting and restoring the appearance of permanently stained, chipped, cracked, or irregularly shaped teeth. Porcelain veneers are also frequently used to close gaps between teeth or reduce tooth sensitivity from enamel erosion.
You can get a single veneer, several, or an entire set to transform and improve the appearance of your smile, and each veneer is custom-made for you with your input about what you want it to look like. Porcelain is durable and stain-resistant, so your veneers can last 15 years or more if you care for them with a thorough oral hygiene routine. Generally, veneers take two appointments to place because they need to be made in an outside lab. Once they’re on your teeth, however, they create an immediate and long-lasting change in your smile’s appearance.
Use Bonding to Repair Minor Damage to Your Teeth
Bonding is a resin that can be tinted to match the color of your natural teeth and applied in just a single visit to our office. It can be molded into the shape you need to restore chipped, cracked, or minorly broken teeth as well as to change the shape of uneven or irregularly shaped teeth, cover mild stains, and close a gap between your teeth. In addition to being quick and easy to receive, bonding is relatively inexpensive, making it a great option for many people who are looking into dental cosmetics.
Invest a Little Time into Your At-home Dental Care Routine
Your at-home oral hygiene routine has a huge impact on your smile’s health and appearance. When you keep up with a thorough routine, you help prevent oral health issues like cavities and gum disease that can impact the function and appearance of your smile. A great oral hygiene routine should include brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and using mouthwash at least once a day. You can also use whitening toothpaste or an antibacterial mouthwash to tailor your routine to your oral health needs. Doing this only takes a few minutes, but it goes a long way towards keeping your teeth and gums healthy!
Look into Gum Contouring to Improve a Gummy Smile
A “gummy smile” is when someone’s gums cover more of their teeth than most people’s, showing a higher proportion of gums to show when they smile. Not everyone minds their gummy smile, and that’s okay! But if you’re looking for a change, gum contouring is a quick and easy way to even out the proportion of gums and teeth showing in your smile. Since your teeth are the same size as everyone else’s underneath your extra gum tissue, all your dentist has to do during gum contouring is remove that extra tissue with a dental laser, reshaping your gum line in the process. It only takes a single visit to our office but it can completely transform the appearance of your smile!
Give Up Smoking
It’s pretty common knowledge that smoking stains your teeth, but it can also have a huge impact on your oral health. It weakens your immune system, which makes it harder for your body to fight off and recover from infections. It also makes it harder for your body to heal, so if you get a gum infection or suffer an injury to your gums, healing takes longer. As a result, smokers have twice the risk of developing gum disease than nonsmokers do. We know that smoking isn’t an easy habit to give up, but it’s much better for your oral and overall health to quit! Thankfully, there are a lot of resources available to help you, and you may be surprised by how much of a difference quitting can make for your health. Your teeth and gums will be healthier — and they’ll look healthier, too!
Repair a Tooth with a Same Day Crown
When a tooth is severely decayed, cracked, broken, or misshapen, a dental crown is an incredibly effective solution. Dental crowns are tooth-shaped pieces of porcelain that are secured over your natural tooth to protect and restore both its function and appearance. Traditional crowns take two appointments and several weeks to place, but modern technology allows us to design, mill, and place your crown in a single appointment at our office. Since same day crowns are made from the same durable, natural-looking porcelain as lab-milled crowns and are just as customizable, they look just as realistic—you can even get them on your front teeth without anyone realizing you have crowns!
Stick to a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet gives your body all of the vitamins and minerals it needs to function and stay healthy. This is just as important for your teeth and gums as it is for the rest of your body! Vitamins and minerals help strengthen your teeth, build healthy gums, and allow your immune system to function at its best as it fights oral bacteria. This means making sure that you get a healthy balance of lean proteins, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and dairy. A healthy diet also means limiting sugary and carbohydrate-rich snacks, which aren’t good for your teeth because they fuel the cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth. You don’t have to eliminate these foods from your diet entirely, but it’s wise to limit them and eat fruits and vegetables for snacks instead. You don’t have to make huge changes all at once, though, as even slight changes to your diet can make a surprising difference.
Even small treatments at our office or changes to your daily routine can quickly transform your smile, making it healthier and more beautiful than ever! If you’re interested in making bigger changes to your smile, however, feel free to read about restorative dentistry, Invisalign braces, and advanced cosmetic dentistry here.