What are the Quickest and Easiest Ways to Improve Your Smile?

Published:March 8th, 2014

DaffodilWith spring almost here, it is a great time to look at how to improve your smile, and there are lots of quick and easy cosmetic dentistry techniques that need not cost a lot of money.

Basic Everyday Hygiene
The most basic technique is to brush your teeth twice a day, and to floss once a day.  Shockingly one in six of us neglects this basic hygiene task, and as a result is likely to develop tooth decay and gum disease. Regular hygiene not only reduces your risk of these diseases, but will keep your smile looking whiter for longer through removing food deposits and plaque that would otherwise build up and discolour your teeth.

Hygiene Visits
You can visit your hygienist without booking a check-up with your dentist, (although regular dental exams are a great idea) and this can be an easy way to boost your smile. A quick scale and polish will remove tartar from your teeth, and will lift some of the surface stains. Some people might find this is all they need.

Home Teeth Whitening Kits
If a scale and polish isn’t enough, try one of the many kits on the market. Some use carbamide peroxide to bleach teeth. Others use non-peroxide ingredients that can be particularly good if you have sensitive teeth. It is worth reading the reviews and deciding how you want to whiten, for example if you will use whitening strips or mouth trays. Follow the instructions on their use to the letter to get the best and safest results.

Professional Teeth Whitening
This is a lot more expensive, but your dentist is able to legally use stronger hydrogen peroxide gels than can be bought over the counter. Stronger gels can lead to increased tooth sensitivity or other unwanted side-effects, which is why these need to be used under the supervision of a dentist.

Looking Beyond Tooth Whitening
Whitening is great, but it will not improve teeth that are chipped or misshapen, or are simply worn down. In this case your dentist will be able to help.

Dental Bonding
This is an inexpensive treatment that uses composite resin (white filling material) to mend or hide minor imperfections in teeth.  That small chip can be mended, and teeth can be made to look more evenly shaped. It is a good alternative to having porcelain veneers.

Replacing Old Fillings
Do you still have some older style silver amalgam fillings? It could be time to get them renewed. Amalgam is very hard wearing, but it is not pretty and it doesn’t last forever. Your dentist probably wouldn’t recommend renewing fillings that are still viable, but if they have begun to leak or crumble then white fillings might be a good replacement.

Larger fillings may need to be replaced in a slightly different way, through using porcelain inlays or onlays. These are made to replace substantial areas of decay in the back teeth so the tooth is strong enough to be used for chewing, and are a more conservative choice than full crowns.

The advantage of replacing old fillings is that it can help improve your smile and your dental health, and can be the perfect complement to home teeth whitening.

About the author

Alison, is a UK born and educated dental professional with over 25 years experience.

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