Professionals always say it to people with low self-esteem: “Smile! You will feel better!”, while it’s decent advice and smiling releases “feel-good” endorphins that make you feel better about yourself and your life it’s not always that simple for some people to “just smile”.
Sometimes people may have problems with their teeth. They have reasons they don’t want to smile. There has to be other hope for your self-esteem to be improved, right?
Many people complain they are self-conscious of how crooked their teeth are. Many people were from families who were not wealthy enough to afford braces or corrective measure to help them straighten their teeth as young people. They grew into adulthood with crooked teeth, and never really did anything about it. However, as adults today there are treatments that do not require having metal knobs attached to each tooth for the 3+ years it takes most adults to have their teeth straightened.
The most common treatment used to straighten teeth while avoiding braces is called Invisalign ®. This is a system that straightens the teeth with clear trays while avoiding the look of braces that include having metal knobs attached to their teeth. Invisalign ® has been worn by many people such as actors, actresses, and news anchors on the air without anyone even noticing they are wearing them! Invisalign ® also works much more quickly than braces. Most people only have to wear the trays for a few months or even a few weeks to help their teeth straighten out! Teeth may be sensitive while using Invisalign ® but it’s a relatively quick process, and few people say it’s actually painful just slightly uncomfortable as the teeth do have to move into alignment!
Veneers are another option for people who want straight teeth without braces. Veneers involves removing a layer of the teeth to improve one’s overall smile. Veneers are a combination of about 75% glass dust and 25% acrylic mix that is polished back onto the teeth to give them a straightened appearance. These “shells” are then bonded to each individual tooth to keep them protected and make them straighter in appearance
Others often get stuck complaining of terrible breath that makes them want to avoid smiling as people may smell whatever they think is so putrid. Many things indeed can cause bad breath, but the most common is a long time gone without seeing a dental hygienist. That plaque and bacteria that is building up in the mouth and sinking into the gums and eventually bones is likely to leave a horrid odor. Try beginning with regular cleaning on a 3-to-6-month basis and within a few cleanings your breath should begin to smell better.
Moreover, avoid foods that often have putrid smells if they sit in your mouth for long. These include foods like strong spices, garlic, and onions. This can collect between your teeth or along your gum line and the smell can be God-awful. If you are going to eat such foods brush and floss afterwards, followed by chewing some sugarless gum to ensure smells are gone before going to another meeting at work or out in public where you have to deal with people.
Also, establish a regular brushing schedule of 2-3x brushings per day and flossing each night before bed. This is the one of the simplest ways to keep your breath fresh, and avoid the stink from creeping in. When a proper hygienic routine is the best way to keep food from gathering between the teeth and along the gum line that leads to food rot, which is usually when the putrid odors set in.
Check with your dentist to see if you may be a victim of xerostomia which is also known as “dry mouth”. This means your mouth is not producing enough saliva, which lubricates the mouth. Many medications can cause this as a side-effect. If you are determined to have xerostomia artificial saliva is oftentimes a very simple solution to fix that problem.
Also, avoid tobacco products as well as smoking cigarettes or using anything else that includes these ingredients. If you currently have these habits, you may ask your dentists to help kick the habit.
Many people think mouthwash will help, but it’s generally a pretty temporary solution and will not last throughout more than a few hours of using the mouthwash. However, special antimicrobial mouthwashes prescribed by your dentist may help in the worst cases of breath odor.
If none of this helps the bad breath, you may suffer from conditions like respiratory tract infections, chronic sinusitis, postnasal drip (severe), chronic bronchitis, diabetes, or other chronic conditions. If your dentist determines your mouth is healthy, check with your family doctor about one of these being the suspect of your wretched breath.
Others might argue they have had spots on their teeth since they were a child so smiling makes them self-conscious. Most assume there is nothing they can do for those spots on their teeth by the age they are now (adults). However, normally a simple solution like fluoride solutions or mouth sprays can often help the situation. Your dentist can advise you more on what to do for such spots on your teeth. It likely is just decalcification of enamel on the teeth, and that needs to be removed to remove the spots.
People often also sight discolored teeth such as a light grey or yellowing color as a reason they don’t smile often. Most people who have discolored teeth can benefit from professional whitening systems, and their ability to lighten the teeth a few shades. Some dentists also will offer resin materials to help bond over the colors of the discolored teeth to help them appear whiter.
Some people will complain of “gummy” smiles that show too much of their gums and not enough teeth. Crown lengthening is often a procedure dentists can use to expose more tooth and less gum line to make the smile look more “balanced” to the patient. It is an operation, but it might also be necessary to show the appropriate amount of tooth to make the smile look even. If your dentist does not do such procedures, oftentimes they can refer you to a specialist who can help you.
Whatever your reason for not smiling, many people can have their issues fixed by the dentist. Talk to your dentist for reasons you can smile again!
If you have questions regarding this article contact us or call 909-465-1016.
The Ramona Dentistry Team
“Where Family Comes First”