4 Ways to Straighten Your Smile
Did you know that crooked teeth can affect more than just your appearance? Teeth that are overlapped or crooked can affect your bite, make it difficult to properly clean your teeth, and even cause problems with digestion. But there’s good news — you don’t have to live with a crooked smile. In fact, your dentist in Douglasville can offer you ways to straighten your smile, without braces!
1. Tooth Recontouring
Adults who have minor misaligned teeth and who want a straighter smile can sometimes benefit from a simple tooth recontouring treatment. Tooth recontouring involves removing portions of the enamel in order to change the shape of your teeth.
Another simple way to transform the appearance of your teeth is through a cosmetic dentistry treatment called bonding. Bonding is usually appropriate for one or two teeth that sit farther back than other teeth. Your dentist in Douglasville will apply bonding material to build up the tooth structure so it becomes aligned with the neighboring teeth.
Dental veneers may also help straighten teeth that are a bit more overcrowded or crooked than those that can benefit from contouring or bonding. Veneers are thin slices of porcelain that are created to match the best shape, size, and color for your smile. Your dentist will remove a tiny portion of the front surface of your teeth to make room for the veneer, then affix the shell in place. This form of cosmetic dentistry can also cover up discoloration or smaller gaps.
4. Invisible Aligners
Patients who have crooked teeth that can’t be fixed through the other treatments may be a candidate for invisible aligners. These thin plastic aligners are worn every day and only removed to eat and brush your teeth. They can effectively move teeth into the desired position, similarly to traditional metal braces. While these revolutionary aligners can certainly transform a smile, they may not be appropriate for everyone. Talk with your dentist in Douglasville about whether clear aligners may be right for you.
Should You Straighten Your Teeth At Home?
While we’re talking about clear aligners, it’s important to mention the surge in at-home clear aligner treatment. However, straightening your teeth at home, either with these aligners or by trying to make your own braces, can result in some negative side-effects such as:
- Tooth decay
- Broken teeth
- A bad bite
- Pain in your jaw or teeth
It’s always best to talk with your dentist in Douglasville about any dental treatment before trying to treat it on your own.
Signs You May Need to Straighten Your Teeth
You may not know if crooked or overlapping teeth are affecting your overall health, but there are often some telltale signs that you will benefit from a smile straightening treatment including:
- Difficulty chewing
- Problems with speech
- Clicking jaw
- Top and bottom teeth don’t allow your jaw to close while at rest
- Mouth breathing
If you’re unhappy with your smile or notice any of the signs above, schedule an appointment with your dentist. You’ll talk about what’s bothering you and your dentist will perform an exam and possibly x-rays to get a better idea of what treatment may be the best way to straighten your teeth.
Do Teeth Get Better After Quitting Smoking?
According to the American Dental Association, quitting smoking has been shown to improve oral health in several important ways. Perhaps most importantly, your teeth and gums may become healthier. If you’re trying to kick the habit, join your dentist in Douglasville as we share some ways quitting can help improve your overall health and oral health.
Why Is Smoking Bad For Oral Health?
Most people know that smoking is bad for overall health, but did you know that it can be detrimental to oral health, too? Smokers have an increased risk of developing some serious oral health issues, such as:
- Gum disease
- Dry mouth
- Tooth discoloration
- Bad breath
- Tooth loss
- Oral cancer
Can You Reverse The Effects Of Smoking?
If you’re a smoker, you may feel that there is no point in quitting, especially if you’ve been smoking for a long time. However, your dentist in Douglasville has good news. Once you stop smoking, the risk of developing gum disease or oral cancer drops to non-smoker levels. This may take some time, but it’s well worth the health benefits. Additionally, the American Cancer Society showcases additional benefits to quitting smoking at any age such as lowering the risk of cancer and extending your life by 10 years.
How to Stop Smoking
Quitting smoking can be very difficult as it’s a highly addictive habit. But don’t lose hope. There are a number of ways people have successfully quit. It’s important to note that not every tip will work for everyone. Keep an open mind and keep trying alternatives.
- Pick a Quit Date
Some smokers may try to stop smoking “cold turkey,” meaning that one day they just stop. While this can work for some people, it’s incredibly difficult. Instead, professionals recommend picking a quit date and working your way to that quit date by decreasing the number of cigarettes you have a day.
- Find a Support System
Quitting on your own can make the process even harder, so try getting a support system. This can be a family member, friend, or perhaps even a coworker. Talk to them about how they can best help you and in ways that you will find most supportive.
- Supplement with Something Healthy
A lot of smokers have trouble quitting because of the simple act of holding something in between their figures or puffing on something throughout the day. If you find this to be the case, try to find a healthy alternative. For example, snack on vegetables, chew sugarless gums, hold a pencil in between your fingers, or consider a nicotine replacement product.
It’s incredibly important that everyone visits their dentist in Douglasville at least twice a year, but this is even more important for smokers. Regular visits help keep teeth and gums healthy and are a great opportunity to check for any signs of oral cancer or other problems. Usually, when a dental problem is caught early, treatment is more successful and easier.