Steps in making a winning smile
- The importance of a smile in interpersonal nonverbal communication cannot be understated. This facial expression is the initiation into an interpersonal relationship and is an entre to mutual trust. A smile states the willingness to opening of a friendly communicative state.
- Step 1: No matter what your teeth look like, they must be clean! Since teeth are the lightest element in your face, the observer`s eyes are drawn to you teeth. If teeth are not clean and have plaque layers on them, they will not have clear borders between them, they will be discolored and generally will generate bad breath. As well, the gums (gingiva) will be inflamed and bleed readily. Brushing your teeth at least twice per day and perhaps rinsing your mouth between meals will provide adequate dental hygiene. Flossing your teeth will further reduce plaque and is an essential practice to prevent tooth decay. Use a regular hardness bristle brush that you replace every 2-3 months. The toothpaste should be of a known brand which generally is associated with quality. 2-3 minutes of careful brushing is adequate to remove the accumulated plaque.
- Step 2: If you feel that your teeth are dark yellow, you may want to consider bleaching them. There are a number of methods you can choose from. A full clinical bleaching can be completed in about 2 hours. The teeth are isolated with a special material and the bleaching agent (carbamide peroxide) is painted on the teeth and activated with an intense blue light. This is quite effective in most cases. However if fillings are present they may stand out after the bleaching and therefore require replacement. Some discolorations in the teeth may not whiten very well and consequently patchiness may occur. Your dentist can advise you of these risks. Bleaching can result in tooth sensitivity but this generally disappears in 2-3 weeks or less.
- Step 3: If you have cavities, these should be filled so that further decay of the tooth is stopped. Fillings in the front teeth should be carefully matched to the natural tooth color and can restore the tooth both in color and form. Over time the composite filling material will darken and may require replacement.
- Step 4: If your teeth are extensively filled and appear patchy, the front surface of the teeth may be covered improving their color and form.
Method 1: The tooth surface may be covered with a tooth colored filling material. This method is applied in the dental office and can change tooth color and form. The surface of the tooth may require some reduction to achieve a better aesthetic result. Although this method requires less tooth reduction, in the long term there is a certain amount of color deterioration.
Method 2: The tooth surface can be covered with a porcelain material (porcelain veneers). This method requires a number of visits, since fabrication of the veneer requires laboratory technology. The porcelain veneer is then bonded to the tooth. The aesthetic effect immediately and over a long term is very good.
Method 3: If much of the tooth is lost due to caries etc, it may be necessary to place porcelain crowns on the front teeth. This method is effective, but requires reduction of the tooth to larger extent that the previous method.