6 Ways To Get Perfect Teeth
You wake up in the morning, head to the bathroom and smile to yourself in anticipation of an exciting week. When you catch your own gaze in the mirror, however, your stomach drops as you come face to face with your recently chipped tooth. Regardless of your efforts to avoid slamming your coffee mug into your teeth, you’ve still managed to do some damage. If only you could use some Blu-Tack and White-Out to temporarily hide this misfortune, rather than facing your colleagues with tightly closed lips. While your peers may not even notice the damage, it’s easy to think that even the smallest of issues with your teeth are something that everyone will notice, making your teeth far from perfect.
The concept of “perfect teeth”, however, doesn’t match up to reality. Who’s to say what’s perfect and what’s not? It’s easy to look up to your favorite celebrities and dream of having their beautiful set of pearly whites – thinking that they were born with smiles just like that. Many household-names may have been fortunate enough to enter this world with “magazine-approved” smiles. Other influential people, however, have undergone either medical or cosmetic dentistry in order to improve the aesthetics of their teeth.
Some examples include:
- Tom Cruise
- Hilary Duff
- Ben Affleck
- Celine Dion
- Morgan Freeman
It’s understandable to desire better-looking teeth in hopes of boosting your self-confidence as well as general oral health. It’s also key to note that you, and those you admire, aren’t alone. According to a 2015 survey carried out by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), 86% of respondents checked-off “improving physical attractiveness and self-esteem” as their top motivation for getting cosmetic dentistry done. This was followed by wanting to prepare for upcoming events such as weddings, as well as for health and restorative purposes. 74% of individuals surveyed in a 2012 whitening report published by the AACD, felt that poor oral health or unique-looking teeth could also affect their chances of landing a job or making a good first-impression at a job interview.
If glistening teeth remain at the top of your wish list, for whatever reason – whether to boost attractiveness or optimize your health – there are various methods for achieving them. Some of these include adopting healthy daily habits, while others focus more on achieving your goal through medical or cosmetic procedures.
These will be explored below:
1. Consider your cosmetic options
Cosmetic dentistry is often referred to as the art of improving the appearance of one’s teeth, gums and bite. This may involve re-shaping teeth, closing gaps or even replacing teeth altogether. Depending on your chosen procedure, the techniques will vary in invasiveness.
Popular methods include:
Enamel shaping and recontouring
Recontouring is considered a very effective and painless technique. It can aid in the improvement of crooked teeth, minor bite issues, enamel bulges or pits and general oral health by removing areas where plaque is prone to build up.
Teeth whitening can be completed in a few different ways – in-office and at-home – through a chemical process of bleaching the teeth. If you wish to carry out the process at home, a dentist-prescribed custom mouthpiece may be the way to go, as it ensures that the correct amount of solution reaches your teeth. This, however, may take up to four weeks to work, whereas having the procedure done at the clinic may only take a few visits of one to two hours.
Other popular processes include:
- Having custom-made shells cover the fronts of your teeth (veneers) or the entirety of your teeth (crowns) for appearance-boosting results
- Replacing teeth (implants and bridges)
- Wearing braces to improve crooked, crowned or out-of-alignment teeth
- Assisting chipped, spaced or stained teeth as well as filling cavities with bonding materials.
2. Undergo dental procedures
If your oral situation proves a little more severe than you’d hoped, medical operations and practices may be your only option for achieving a shiny Chesire Cat-like grin. Brushing and flossing as much as possible may not do your mouth justice if you have underlying health issues preventing improvement. Common culprits often include problems relating to your wisdom teeth, unwanted bacterial infections, cysts and sores as well as alignment difficulties.
Correcting these problems may be achieved through the following medical procedures:
- Wisdom teeth removal
- Root canal therapy
- Jaw realignment (correction) surgery
- Gum disease (periodontal disease) treatment/surgery
- Oral and maxillofacial surgery.
3. Practice proper oral hygiene
You may recall your mother asking you every night to brush your teeth properly before bed. Some children may enjoy this process, while others may do everything in their power to avoid the task. After years of deliberate evasion, you may well have concluded that neglecting your pearly whites has only hurt you in the long run.
According to the Mayo Clinic, your cheeky grin, and overall wellbeing, may depend on some simple dental care habits. In order to prevent gum disease, tooth decay and cavities, you should focus your efforts towards the surfaces of your teeth as well as where your teeth meet your gums.
Recommended ways of achieving the latter include:
- Brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day
- Cleaning your tongue with a toothbrush or tongue scraper to avoid bacteria or plaque build-up
- Flossing at least once a day
- Consider mouthwash for the reduction of mouth acid, the re-mineralization of teeth and cleaning hard-to-reach spots
- Visit the dentist regularly.
There are also suggested techniques to brushing and general dental up-keep that are wise to note:
- Replace your toothbrush every three months (or when it begins to wear out)
- Avoid brushing your teeth too hard
- Brush every tooth in small circles and hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle.
If you feel that your efforts aren’t being met with your desired results you can also consider professional teeth cleaning to remove tartar and stains. If you fail to practice proper cleaning methods or invest in some additional help, you may fall victim not only to cavities, cracks and discoloration, but to potentially dangerous infections and diseases as well. It’s therefore crucial that you understand what’s required of you in order to maintain and achieve your idea of a “perfect” smile.
4. Use quality products
Using dentist-recommended products is just as important, if not more so than following the correct techniques and frequency of brushing. If your mate gives you some home-made toothpaste, for example, that’s actually filled with more harmful chemicals than beneficial ones, you may be damaging your teeth more than you’re improving them.
The following materials/items are often recommended for optimal cleaning and aesthetic purposes:
Fluoridated water and fluoride toothpaste
According to Healthline, fluoride is a natural mineral known for supporting healthy tooth enamel and fighting against nasty bacteria. Drinking fluoridated water and using fluoride toothpaste is, therefore, wise in order to strengthen your teeth and prevent cavities.
Manual and electric toothbrushes
If you have sensitive teeth, it’s recommended to purchase manual brushes with soft or extra-soft bristles. Electrical toothbrushes, however, are considered superior. They’re known for reaching difficult spots, effectively removing plaque and are easier to use for those with mobility issues. Regardless of whether you prefer manual or electrical, it’s wise to research which brands and specific products have a dentist’s tick of approval.
Other recommended tools include:
- Interdental (tiny) brushes
- Water flossers
- Tongue cleaners.
5. Avoid certain foods and drinks
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that some food products and beverages can damage your teeth and oral health. It’s vital to remove these items as much as possible from your diet.
Eroding tooth enamel is often caused by acid within the mouth. When you consume sugary products, for example, that sugar gets converted into acid and can contribute to tooth decay.
The following items often cause damaging acids:
- Cakes, breads and cookies
- Potato chips
- Soda and alcoholic drinks
- Apple cider vinegar
- Citrus fruits and dried fruits
Other forms of consumption such as smoking can also negatively impact your teeth. According to WebMD, smokers are six times more likely to develop mouth cancer than nonsmokers. Quitting or reducing your tobacco intake as well as being cautious of what you’re feeding into your body may be the best course of action on your path to immaculate teeth.
6. Include certain ingredients in your diet
Just as removing certain foods/drinks from your diet is beneficial, adopting others may aid in an improved oral situation. Drinking plenty of water – especially after each meal – can help boost overall health as well as flush any sticky or harmful residue from your teeth. Green and black teas are also recommended to prevent bacteria.
According to the University of Rochester MedicalCenter, saliva production is considered a natural defense against cavities, therefore, the following products may also be worth adopting:
- Fresh, crunchy, high-fiber produce (fruits and vegetables)
- Dairy products (cheese, milk, plain yoghurt)
- Sugarless chewing gum.
There are several methods that may help you in achieving your goals of a pristine smile. Apart from healthy daily habits such as brushing and flossing, you may consider either cosmetic dentistry or medical procedures to optimize your dental hygiene and the aesthetic appeal of your teeth. As long as you put in the effort and maintain effective techniques, you should be able to smile wide without fear of imperfections.