With 2018 knocking on our door and a brand-new year ahead of us, our thoughts turn to personal changes we want to make. A new job, a better social life, a fresh relationship—the New Year brings new resolutions and hope for better days ahead.
However, if the thought of smiling makes you cringe, improving your personal interactions can be difficult. Here are some procedures to get your dental health and your confidence primed for 2018.
1. The basics – Preventative dentistry is fundamental to your oral health. Visiting your dentist twice a year can nip potential problems in the bud, catching cavities and gum problems before they become major issues. X-rays can pinpoint decay before you even know it’s happening, and cleanings and sealants can protect your teeth during the months between exams. Get your checkup before the end of the year, when your dental benefits may reset.
2. Root canals and fillings – Why start out the year with nagging tooth pain? If your teeth hurt all the time, you may need a root canal, a procedure in which a tooth’s root is eliminated in order to save the tooth itself. Nowadays, root canals are relatively painless for most people. And with gentle sedation, fillings don’t need to be a big deal either. Gone are the days of having a mouth full of ugly silver! Tooth-colored fillings feel smooth and natural to you and are invisible to others.
3. Night guards – If you grind your teeth at night, and many people do, you may wake up with a headache or jaw pain. You may not even realize you’re doing it unless someone mentions it to you, but your dentist can check for unusual wear patterns and prescribe a custom night guard, a thin, transparent device you place over your teeth to protect them while you sleep.
4. Tooth whitening – Whiter teeth are attractive and build confidence, and there are many whitening options available nowadays to suit your lifestyle. You can whiten at home at your convenience, or choose an in-office procedure for fast results. Wouldn’t you love going into the New Year with a dazzling, white smile?
5. Braces – Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you have to give up your dream of straight teeth. Braces aren’t just for kids anymore! The new Fastbraces® technology gives faster results than traditional braces, with patients seeing noticeable results in months instead of years. Some dentists provide FastBraces® in addition to their normal dental services, meaning you won’t need to see a separate orthodontist for the process.
6. Veneers and crowns – For teeth with discolorations or chips, crooked teeth or ones with unsightly spaces between them, custom-fitted cosmetic porcelain veneers or crowns can solve the problem beautifully. Teeth that have been damaged or weakened by injury or decay can also get the TLC treatment with crowns, often called “caps.” These are indistinguishable from natural teeth.
7. Dental implants – Missing a tooth? Instead of feeling as though everyone is staring at the gap when you smile or talk, consider an implant. Here, a post is implanted below the gum, which, after several months, fuses with the bone. At that point, a porcelain crown is attached to the post, and voila! You have a natural-looking, strong tooth and don’t have to worry about bridges or dentures.
Nicer, whiter teeth are a holiday gift you can give yourself. Even small changes can make a big difference to your appearance. And you’ll be surprised at how much better your outlook on life can be when you’re comfortable with your smile!