q How Can I Restore My Smile? - Harcourt Health

How Can I Restore My Smile?

Sometimes, your teeth can bear the toll of bad habits, like failing to brush or eating too many sugary foods. Other times, you may lose teeth through no fault of your own, like the effects of aging or through a sudden accident. In any event, decayed, broken, or missing teeth can be a pretty big hamper on your confidence. Here are some of the options you have when you see a cosmetic dentist to try and bring your smile back to its old self.

Your Options For Cosmetic Treatment

The nice thing about cosmetic dentistry is that it has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few decades. This means more advancement and investment than ever in making your teeth look their best and turning back the clock on damaged and weakened teeth. The options mentioned below cover a variety of different price ranges and scenarios—look on and see what is best for you.

Bonding: Bonding helps cover up the appearance of damaged, discolored, or decaying teeth. Your dentist starts by drilling out the affected area. They then apply a composite material onto the tooth that gets sculpted into a tooth shape. In the end, you can’t tell the difference between this and a regular tooth, which is perfect. These are also the cheapest option on the list, and don’t require anesthesia to put on.

Veneers: The highest quality veneers, thin pieces shaped that fit the size and color of your teeth, are made of porcelain. However, there are other options on the other table, using materials that cost less. At any rate, for the custom ones, your dentist will take a scan of your teeth before sending the scans off to have the veneers made. You then need to come back for another appointment to actually put them on. The thing about veneers is that while they are beautiful and useful, you will likely need to replace them during your lifetime. On average, a porcelain veneer lasts around 15 years before being replaced. Cheaper ones will have an even shorter lifespan. To hit this lifespan, make sure that you brush them and floss them just like you would other teeth. Be sure to visit your cosmetic dentist in Lafayette regularly.

Inlay and Onlays: These are also called indirect fillings in some circles. This is because they serve as a potential alternative to fillings in certain scenarios. This generally means that there is only a little bit of decay, or not enough tooth structure to hold a filling. An inlay is put directly on the tooth surface, while an onlay covers the entire surface of the tooth. Both of these are made in the same way with the same materials: composite resin, with dental cement to attach them.

Preemptive Care

The best defense is a good offense, so they say, but you could say the same about preparation. While cosmetic dentistry is a great asset for people who have sudden dental issues or didn’t have the opportunity to practice good oral hygiene in the past, one of the best things you can do is work ahead to ensure that your teeth are clean so you don’t need these procedures to begin with. This applies doubly for children and younger people, who are still starting to form the hygiene habits that will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

In many cases, this means using alternative options to clean your teeth that you may not expect, not necessarily in place of toothpaste or brushing, but alongside. For example, baking soda is a common part of commercial toothpaste, but can work wonders if you use it on its own. As a mild abrasive, it can scrub away surface stains after you eat certain foods. It can also create an alkaline environment in your mouth. This keeps bacteria from growing. Bacteria left unchecked in the mouth creates plaque, which leads to the hardened form, tartar. Tartar is something you need a dentist’s health to remove.

Want to really go off the beaten path? Try oil pulling. No, this isn’t as painful as it sounds. Oil pulling is a traditional Indian remedy that involves swishing around coconut oil to reduce harmful bacteria that create a biofilm on your teeth.

Whether you want a cosmetic dentist’s help or want to go it alone, investing in your teeth now is a guaranteed way to ensure you don’t run into bigger issues later.