Ever stifle a smile because you’re ashamed of your teeth? Do you feel self-conscious about the appearance of your smile? If so, you are not alone. Stained, crooked, broken and missing teeth are commonly associated with embarrassment and poor self esteem.
Teeth can affect a person’s overall appearance dramatically. And, unfortunately, society often judges us by our appearance. Right or wrong, fair or not fair, people make assumptions about us based on the condition of our teeth. Straight, white teeth are associated with wealth, education and sophistication; whereas crooked, chipped or stained teeth have negative associations.
Those with poor teeth can miss out on many of life’s opportunities, not only because of the way people judge us but just as much of the fear we feel that they might judge us. Depending on the severity of the problems and how much we worry, bad teeth can have truly debilitating effects on our lives.
With Christmas coming and the impending new year, now’s a great time to consider giving the gift of a beautiful smile to yourself or someone you love. Just imagine the difference this gift could make in your life or in the life of your spouse, child, parent or other loved one!
Cosmetic options abound. To get those pearly whites as white and pearly as possible, ask your dental office about ZOOM! Whitening. This quick and easy procedure involving a hydrogen peroxide-based gel and lamp is performed in the dentist’s office in a matter of minutes and has lasting results. Many dentists offer take-home tooth whitening kits, too, with trays custom-made for your mouth, which you fill with a solution and wear at night periodically.
The newest way to fix a less-than-stellar set of teeth is through a product called Snap-On Smile. An alternative to long and painful surgical reconstructive procedures that involve pulling, filing and/or implanting false teeth, Snap-On enables patients to overlay a removable appliance atop existing teeth, and results are remarkable. Snap-On may be removed at night or anytime and worn whenever desired. Snap-On isn’t cheap, but the results and the confidence they bring are worth every penny.
Bonding is a procedure that can improve the appearance of chipped or broken teeth. With bonding, a tooth-colored material is applied to existing teeth to fill-in broken or misshapen areas. Instead or in addition to bonding, you may also consider enamel shaping, which involves removing or contouring parts of your teeth.
Veneers are another option. Made of tooth-colored material, veneers are custom-made shells that cover the front side of the teeth. Them of course, there are always braces. Braces have come a long way over the years. Some are clear. Others are applied to the backs of the teeth. They can not only straighten teeth but also correct overbites, underbites and other problems related to the alignment of the jaw. Your dentist can refer you to an orthodontist if you’re a candidate for braces.
So, give yourself or your loved one the gift of confidence this year! Talk to your dentist about options and make a plan to move forward. You’ll never regret it!
Curtis H. Roy, D.D.S., has served Acadiana residents with a general dentistry and specialty practice since 1970. Find his practice on the Web at www.drcurtisroyandassociates.com, visit the office at 3703 Johnston St., Lafayette, or call 981.9811, and look for him on Facebook and Twitter.