Improve Your Smile

A smile is an international form of nonverbal communication that conveys mood, attitude and general health. Dentists and Dental Specialists can work with you to improve your smile through proper oral care and specialized cosmetic dentistry practices such as orthodontics, tooth replacement, veneers, crowns, tooth whitening and other treatments. How important is your smile?

 

Your smile is important. It can have a distinct impact on your psychosocial wellbeing and your self-esteem. "A smile costs nothing, but gives so much; a smile takes but a moment, but can last forever". The reasons for the importance of your smile can be summarized as follows:

  1. Your smile animates your face and allows your personality to shine through. It can have a dramatic affect on the people you encounter and provide a contagious positive impact.
  2. Your smile is important to all your interpersonal relationships. We are a visual society and an appealing smile attracts attention and can contribute to social, education and business success.
  3. Your smile can define the character of your face. It can dramatically age your face or conversely give your face a more youthful appearance. Your smile can create the perception of an aggressive character or a more passive character.
  4. Your smile is absolutely important to establishing personal contacts. In social interactions, our eyes will primarily scan the other person's eyes and areas of the mouth (smile) with little time spent in observation of the other features. Thus, your smile is one of the first and most important impressions for which you will be remembered.

 

Early Intervention

The first step towards optimizing oral health should occur in infancy with the introduction of tooth brushing and dietary management. Even very young children can suffer emotional strain from both the presence and management of their dental caries.

"Children with dental caries often present with abnormally shaped, broken and stained teeth. Extensive carious breakdown of primary anterior teeth to the cervical level and their loss in very young children invariably leads to lack of confidence and self-esteem and may cause psychological problems." Kapur A, Chawla HS, Goyal A, Gaube K. Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry, 2005, Winter; 30 (2):99-103.

"Having low caries experience and better dental appearance were associated with perception of good oral health."

Do LG, Spencer A. Journal of Public Health Dentistry, 2007, Summer; 67(3):132-9.

"Poor oral health is significantly related to children's smiling patterns and the way others perceived their smiles. Poor oral health may prevent children from expressing positive emotions, which can impact their social interactions and the way they feel about themselves." Patel RR, Tootla R, Inglehart MR. Community Dental Oral Epidemiology, 2007, Feb; 35(1):44-52.

Tooth Movement 

Tooth movement is a naturally occurring function as children age and first teeth are replaced by permanent teeth. A Dental Specialist can help determine if the natural movement of teeth is progressing as it should and they can help correct movement when it is not.

In all ages, tooth movement may be cause by trauma, as in a sports injury, grinding teeth, clenching jaw, falls and physical abuse. The removal of permanent teeth can also cause the surrounding teeth to shift. Occasionally a medical condition or treatment will cause tooth movement. A Dental Specialist can diagnose and often correct movement through the use of appliances, crowns and bridges, or tooth implants.

Quick Facts
  • Healthy teeth can be moved at almost any age. According the American Association of Orthodontists, one in five orthodontic patients is an adult, age 18 or older. 63% of adult orthodontic patients are female.
  • We are experiencing a major change in dental health care. Whereas our great-grandparents often lost their teeth around age 40, a 25-year-old today has the potential of another 75 years of keeping their teeth. Teeth that do not fit well wear down more quickly—another reason to make sure that your teeth are in good alignment and well maintained in your adult years.