Keeping your teeth and gums healthy doesn’t only keep you healthy. It also plays a part in how great your smile looks. While some dental treatments, such as teeth whitening, are purely cosmetic in nature, others can improve the health of your teeth and gums while also improving the way your mouth looks. If you are feeling self-conscious about your teeth, for any reason, talk to your dentist or periodontist about the options available for making your smile look better and feel better.
Keeping Teeth White
People tend to feel self-conscious about teeth that are stained or yellow. While yellow teeth aren’t necessarily a sign of ill health, they can make you look older or make you feel that your smile is less attractive. There are several things you can do to make your teeth look whiter or to keep them from discoloring further.
Avoiding foods and beverages that stain your teeth is one way to go to keep them looking as white as possible. Dark-colored liquids, such as red wine, black tea and coffee, can all lead to discoloration of your teeth, for example. Dark foods, such as berries, can also stain your teeth.
A food or drink doesn’t have to be dark in color to lead to discoloration, though. If you are concerned about staining or yellowing your teeth, you’ll also want to keep any eye out for foods that are very acidic, such as sodas.
In some cases, foods that stain your teeth also happen to be foods that are good for you. If you don’t want to give up berries entirely, for example, or enjoy drinking black tea, there are some things you can do to minimize discoloration. You can try drinking iced tea, coffee or soda using a straw, to minimize the contact the liquid has with your teeth. You can also rinse your mouth out with plain water after eating or drinking to reduce the amount of time the food or liquid is in contact with your teeth.
If you aren’t happy with the color of your teeth and are looking for ways to make them whiter, not just ways to avoid future stains, you have several options. You can try an over-the-counter whitening product, such as whitening strips or see a dentist for an in-office whitening treatment.
Fix Up Receding Gums
The phrase “long in the tooth,” used when referring to a person’s age, is thought to have come from the practice of looking at a horse’s teeth to get an idea of its age. The horse’s gums were thought to recede as it got older, so the longer the teeth looked, the older the horse.
In people, gum recession isn’t necessarily part of the aging process, but receding gums can make you look older. Gums recede for a few reasons, from advanced gum disease to overly vigorous tooth brushing. No matter the cause of your recession, you have a few options for fixing it up.
If the recession is related to gum disease, your periodontist will most likely treat the gum disease first, before correcting the recession. If your recession is due to your brushing technique, he or she might recommend using a lighter hand or a softer brush, before correcting the gum recession.
There are several ways to correct receding gums. Traditional, surgical methods involved removing an amount of tissue from the upper part of the mouth, then grafting that tissue onto the gums, restoring the gumline. New methods, such as Alloderm, use donated tissue to restore the gum line. Since the dentist doesn’t have to remove additional tissue from your mouth, the process is less involved and the recovery period shorter than a traditional gum graft surgery.
There’s also a non-invasive option for improving receding gums. The Pinhole Technique involves making small holes on the gums and gently manipulating them so that they once again cover any exposed bone or dentin. The natural gumline is restored and you don’t have to deal with a lengthy recovery period or a considerable amount of discomfort.
Take Care Of Your Teeth at Home
While a dentist can perform a number of treatments that improve the way your smile looks, from gum graft procedures to using implants to restore lost teeth, how you care for your teeth at home is an essential part of keeping your teeth and gums healthy and looking good. Brush at least twice a day, using a fluoride toothpaste, to reduce your risk of cavities. Remember to floss at least once a day, too, to get any food that can get trapped between your teeth. In those times when you can’t brush, rinsing with water or chewing sugar-free gum can help clean up your teeth, at least until you’re able to brush again.
Regular visits to your dentist or periodontist are a must to keep your smile looking good as long as possible. In Miami, periodontists Dr. John Paul Gallardo and Dr. William Lamas can provide advice about the best ways to improve the appearance and health of your smile. To schedule a consultation with the periodontists, call (305) 447-1447 today.