You might have heard that smiling can have a positive impact on your mood and on the moods of people around you. Smiling can give you an instant boost, even when you’re having a bad day. But, there might be reasons why you don’t want to smile or feel embarrassed about smiling. While a number of problems can turn a great smile bad, there are also ways you can take care of those problems and create a good smile.
Straight, Intact Teeth
The positioning of the teeth plays a big part in creating a good-looking smile. If you have teeth that are slanted to one side or another or impacted teeth that weren’t surgically removed, the positioning of your teeth might be affected. Fortunately, there are a few ways that a dentist can help correct out of line teeth, from sending you to an orthodontist for braces to performing oral surgery to removing impacted teeth or to helping guide certain teeth in the correct position.
Straight teeth are just one part of the "good smile" puzzle, though. Any visible damage to the teeth, such as a small chip in the corner of a front tooth or a molar that’s cracked, can also negatively impact the look of your smile. If you have a damaged tooth, you have a few options for repairing it, based on the extent of the damage. In some cases, bonding might be all you need to have a dentist do to restore the look of the tooth. In more severe cases, the dentist might need to completely remove the damaged tooth and replace it with an implant.
Having All of Your Teeth
Along with having teeth that are intact, a good smile features all of a person’s teeth. A few years ago, there was a commercial that featured a young, pretty woman in a restaurant who caught the eye of a young man. He was about to approach her, but when she smiled, she revealed that she was missing one of her front teeth. The man was turned off and ended up walking away, without speaking to her.
Tooth loss can occur for a variety of reasons, from an untreated cavity to injury to the tooth. People can also lose their teeth because of untreated or advanced gum disease. For the most part, periodontists and dentists do what they can to help people avoid losing their teeth. But, there are instances when tooth loss is inevitable. In those cases, the best solution is to have a dentist insert an dental implant, or replacement tooth.
Along with improving the appearance of a person’s smile, there are several benefits of dental implants. They also improve the function of a person’s mouth and can make it easier to chew and speak. Implants look and feel like natural teeth, too, and don’t put weight or pressure on the surrounding teeth. Since they are securely attached to the gums, there’s no chance that the implants will come loose or that a person will swallow one.
Healthy, Pink Gums
It’s not just the appearance of the teeth that affect the look of someone’s smile. Healthy gums also play a part in creating a good smile. Gums that are in good shape are light pink in color and firm to the touch. They haven’t receded or pulled away from the teeth and they aren’t showing signs of inflammation, such as puffiness or bleeding easily.
Unhealthy looking gums might be a sign of gum disease. In its earliest stages, it’s possible to treat gum disease at home and reverse it. In the later stages, you might need treatments such as planing and root scaling, laser therapy or even surgery to restore your gums to health.
The one thing people tend to think of first when they think of a good smile is white teeth. But, several factors can make your teeth dingy or yellow over time. Eating or drinking foods and beverages that stain teeth is just one cause of yellowed teeth. As you get older, your enamel can
become thinner and more translucent, so that the dentin, which is darker in color, is more visible.
If yellowed teeth are keeping you from smiling, you can try at-home whitening products, such as strips or trays. Follow the directions on the packaging to get the best results from a whitening product. Keep in mind that your teeth have a natural shade that works with your skin tone and try not to over-whiten them, as teeth that are a bit too white can look just as unattractive as teeth that are stained.
Whether you are concerned about loose or missing teeth, damaged teeth or gum disease, Dr. John Paul Gallardo and Dr. William Lamas, periodontists in the Miami area, can help. To schedule a consultation with the periodontists and learn more about what you can do to get a good looking smile, call (305) 447-1447 today.