First things first. Wishing You a Brighter New Year! We hope you've had a wonderful holiday season and that this next year will bring you much happiness, excitement and opportunity!
Last week, we talked about the resolution of making your dental health a priority in 2015 and several reasons why the New Year is a great time to get to work accomplishing this goal. When most people hear "dental health" they immediately think of topics like gum disease and tooth decay. Getting a handle on gingivitis or cavities filled is certainly an important element of your oral health. However, even if your mouth is disease and decay free, there is a branch of dentistry that can benefit your life by further improving your health, appearance, smile and even confidence and self-esteem. We're talking about cosmetic dentistry.
The AACD (American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry) says that "cosmetic dentistry is aimed at creating a positive change to your teeth and your smile... and complementing the overall general and oral health of the patient."
Interest and technology in the field of esthetic dentistry has greatly grown in the past ten years. There are many new technologies and procedures that allow for more effective, pain free and surprisingly affordable cosmetic treatments, some of which include:
- Teeth whitening- through a variety of procedures, from custom bleach trays to in office laser whitening
- Crowns and bridges
- Enamel contouring and reshaping
- Bonding and veneers
- Dental implants
- Gum treatments
- Braces or other orthodontic devices
Besides the obvious positive appearance changes that cosmetic dentistry can offer, here are several statistics to give you even more reasons to consider esthetic dental treatments:
- Studies show that people who smile often are more likely to feel better about themselves than those that smile less frequently. And, if you love your smile, you are more likely to share it at every opportunity.
- A bright smile makes you look younger. In an article published in Psychology and Aging, researchers determined that when people looked at a photo, they guessed the age of the subject to be younger if they were smiling.
- 75% of adults believe that an unattractive smile can have a negative influence on your successes, both personally and professionally.
- Nearly 100% of adults say that an appealing smile is an important personal asset.
While cosmetic dentistry is often associated with doing something "for looks", in additional to social advantages, there are also direct health benefits that come with many cosmetic procedures. Misaligned teeth can be a contributor to tooth decay and gum disease. A poor bite might also lead to achy jaw muscles and headaches. Straightening teeth makes it easier to clean and maintain your teeth and aligned bite can get rid of that muscle tension, as well as make it easier to effectively chew and speak.
Another benefit comes in the form of habit change. If you've committed to the time and expense to get your teeth straightened, whitened and/or reshaped, you will be naturally motivated to maintain the health of your pearly whites by sticking a solid oral hygiene routine. You might even cut out junk food, sugary beverages, staining eats and drinks, and tobacco to preserve your new, bright smile.
If you've always wanted to improve the health and appearance of your smile but felt like cosmetic dentistry was out of reach, make an appointment to talk to a dentist this year. Many will do a free consultation and all quality dentists will take the time to discuss the options for treatment and the improvements that an esthetic procedure can bring to your oral health.
Looking for one more ambition to round out your New Year's resolutions? Add "Treat myself to a cosmetic dental procedure." to your list and experience the many benefits that cosmetic dentistry can bring to you!