Are you insecure about your teeth? One study shows that almost six in 10 Americans say they put their hands over their mouths when laughing because they don’t like how their teeth look. And one in two people regularly attempt closed-mouth smiles for the same reason.
Whether you live in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, or anywhere else, you might feel self-conscious about what your teeth look like and what judgments people might make about your teeth.
While not everyone has a smile that can light up a room, that doesn’t mean it’s unattainable. And the good news is there are many options to help you get a mouth full of pearly whites.
Keep reading for five things you can try if you’re unhappy with your smile and want solutions.
- Teeth Whitening
If you’re not faithfully brushing your teeth, flossing, and using mouthwash, your teeth could lose their pearly white luster. Things you consume, such as coffee and tea, can also stain your teeth and leave them looking the worse for wear.
Teeth whitening is one option that can turn drab into fantastic. It’s a non-invasive procedure your dentist can perform to return your stained or off-color teeth back to their natural luster. If you regularly visit your dentist for teeth cleaning sessions, ask them for a whitening procedure.
Depending on the state of your teeth, you might require multiple treatments to get the desired results. But you’ll surely see a major improvement after even a single session.
So, if you otherwise have a nice set of teeth, a simple teeth whitening appointment can do the trick.
- Gum Contouring
Yet another option is gum contouring. If your smile isn’t on point due to a non-symmetrical gumline, gum contouring can give you a new lease on life. A dentist, who can perform this procedure to eliminate excess gum tissue, will usually use a scalpel. However, some dentists offer dental laser options. Going that route will lower the discomfort level and reduce the amount of time needed for your gums to heal.
If you are looking for a cost-effective way to improve your smile, gum contouring is one option to discuss with your dentist.
- Dental Bonding
Dental bonding is a procedure worth considering if you have issues that teeth whitening or gum contouring won’t fix. If you don’t like the shape of your teeth, no amount of whitening or contouring will change the status quo. And if your teeth are badly discolored, have chips, or have gaps, you’ll need options other than the aforementioned procedures as well.
That’s where dental bonding comes into the picture. During the procedure, a dentist will attach a special material to your teeth. The material will be contoured and polished. If the procedure is done correctly and you maintain it, there’s no reason it can’t last as much as a decade. It’s designed to match the color of your teeth, so the difference will be a matter of night and day.
Another option to consider is crowns. If your teeth are in horrible shape, crowns might be ideal. Crowns are special caps that can be placed on top of your existing teeth if those teeth are decayed or otherwise seriously damaged. Quality crowns will fit snuggly, yet comfortably, and look like natural teeth.
- Full Mouth Reconstruction
A full-mouth reconstruction procedure can include the upper and lower jaws — depending on your overall condition and the end result you’re seeking. It’s an invasive surgical procedure, so you’ll need to book comprehensive consultations to do the following:
- Ensure you’re a suitable candidate
- Walk through what the process entails
- Learn what you need to do before and after the procedure
- Understand what results you can realistically expect post-procedure
So, if you have damaged or missing teeth, gum recession, tooth decay, misaligned teeth, or other oral health challenges, you’ll want to discuss with your dentist if a full-mouth reconstruction procedure makes sense.
It can be stressful if you feel self-conscious every time you smile, laugh, or talk. But the five options mentioned above can help you overcome whatever issues you have with your teeth. Your best bet is to consult your dentist to see which options they recommend. Once you look into what the different procedures entail, you can make an informed decision.