Despite literally 99% of people in the U.S. believing that a nice smile is socially key, we as a nation are not very good at general dental care. We’re supposed to brush our teeth twice a day for instance, and yet only 56% of women and 49% of men manage the chore. A pitiful 22% floss daily, and three quarters of the population will experience their first cavity before reaching adulthood.
That’s a lot of punishment for your poor teeth! Many of you schedule a cleaning with your dental group once a year (okay, once every three years), and call it a day. Maybe before a particularly important event you’ll splurge on the dentist-recommended tooth whitener, but otherwise, you’ve grown to accept your less-than-perfect grin.
But what if we told you a cosmetic dentist could work miracles for your tired chompers? Let’s start with some things that you might know a cosmetic dentist can do:
This is for all those addicts of brown things out there — tobacco, soft drinks, coffee, tea, etc. This can all do a number on your smile. But don’t worry. Your resident cosmetic dentist is on the case! They can either whiten your teeth in the office or custom fit a mouth piece for you to whiten at home (though this does take longer).
That word probably made you cringe, especially if you’re an adult. But these days just about everyone has worn braces for a period of time! It’s not just that they correct crooked teeth. They can also mitigate the effects of a cross or under bite and reduce the likelihood of joint problems like TMJ.
Now let’s look at some of the procedures you probably DON’T know about that a cosmetic dentist considers par for the course:
So your teeth are white. Your teeth are straight. You don’t have any gum disease, you’re one of the 22% that floss regularly. There’s just one problem; you’ve got stadium-sized gaps in between your teeth, and they do NOT remind people of Kate Moss. Well, lucky for you a cosmetic dentist can close some of these gaps with a simple, single-visit procedure to the office. With a special solution and just a bit of resin, your smile could be space free in no time!
4. Veneers and Crowns
Both of these procedures involve covering up less-than-ideal teeth with other shiny, cosmetic dentist approved materials. Veneers, the less expensive option, last longer than a bonding procedure and involve taking a cast of your tooth before cementing the covering in place. Crowns, (you may have heard them called caps) follow the same principle, except that they’re more like a full-on tablecloth than a place mat, metaphorically speaking.
Sometimes, teeth simply can’t be saved. There’s no point lamenting them, or blaming that last double-sugar chocolate cupcake. The teeth are gone. But this doesn’t mean you have to go and apply for an AARP card and start storing full on dentures in a glass every night. Bridges, or partial dentures, spot-fix the problem gaps resulting from tooth loss and are surgically bonded in place to prevent slippage — no nasty tooth cup required.
Can you afford all this?
The answer is probably! Maybe not up front, but many dentists nowadays offer financing options and payment plans for major cosmetic procedures. Because let’s be real, if they didn’t, they wouldn’t make any money, and we’d all be walking around looking a fright!