The Health Benefits of a Perfect Smile
Cosmetic dentistry is all about a beautiful smile, right? Well, not completely – while its main intention may be to make a smile brighten the smiler’s day (and that of everyone they meet), many of the procedures used to achieve that goal contribute a whole lot more. Indications are that they can provide another good reason to smile, by improving oral, emotional and general health at the same time.
Letting the smile shine
It has been proven that a beautiful smile is a valuable asset in terms of self-confidence, self-image social interaction and more. It has also been documented that someone with a bright smile and sparkling teeth can stand a better chance of landing a job or promotion, be more successful romantically, and may even be considered more trustworthy. But who thought a beautiful smile might actually keep you healthier?
Some of the issues dealt with by cosmetic dentists who are providing new, improved and brighter smiles to their patients, also improve the general functionality and strength of the teeth. It’s true, cosmetic dentistry’s primary focus may be on aesthetic details. But in order to produce the perfect smile, they use some of the same procedures and techniques which allow reconstructive dentistry to restore and improve functionality in patients with severe dental problems brought on by genetics, birth defects, serious injury and trauma, which pose serious threats to their health.
Some of these shared techniques and procedures include implants, crowns, tooth straightening and replacement. In pursuit of the perfect smile, some patients may even undergo Whole Mouth Reconstructions to correct their bite, solve problems with the jaw and tooth structure, and rectify tooth alignment. These are not normally considered as being aesthetic issues, but addressing these problems impacts on both the prettiness of the smile, and on ensuring it is healthy and functional, too.
Some bonuses to smile about
- Improved brushing and flossing: Good oral hygiene is essential to help control the build-up of plaque and bacteria on teeth, which, if not removed by proper brushing and flossing, can lead to gum disease with its serious consequences for both your oral health and your general state of well-being. Skew and misshapen teeth make it difficult to brush those areas which are hidden or closed off, and also complicate the flossing process which is so imperative for oral health. They also spoil your smile.
- Reduction in neck pain and headaches caused by abnormal stress on the gums and bones supporting crooked teeth can result from tooth straightening.
- Better functionality: Naturally crooked teeth or those with gaps left between them by missing teeth, can lead to misalignment as the remaining teeth move and skew to make up for these defects. Correcting this can not only result in a better smile, but also improve alignment and bite, enabling the teeth to perform their vital function of chewing and tenderizing food in preparation for the digestive process.
- Stronger teeth: Crowded and skew teeth are more prone to injury as well as abnormal wear and tear because of rubbing against other teeth.
Treatments to improve both smile and health
Your plastic surgeon has a toolbox of treatments and procedures to choose from in determining the perfect treatment regimen for each individual patient. They include:
- Straightening crooked teeth using new-look braces that are nothing like the steel gate variety of yesteryear.
- Repairing teeth with composite fillings, bonded on veneers, direct bonding or crowns.
- Replacing missing teeth and filling gaps with implants or porcelain bridges.
- Reshaping teeth using direct bonding to deal with chips, cracks, bad alignment or discoloration.
- Tooth whitening to create lighter and whiter teeth.
Clearly investing in a perfect smile is not just a question of vanity or ego (although these will certainly get a boost). Indications are that a make-over will also give you plenty to smile about when it comes to oral health and hygiene, and the thought that it might protect you from gum disease and its effect on your general health.