Smile Makeover: What Does It Involve and Why Might You Need One?

You’ve definitely heard that smiling is contagious. But did you know that that’s actually a proven scientific fact?

Your smile is one of the first facial expression you ever make, and it has an impact on how approachable you appear. Because it’s such an important aspect of your appearance, people who aren’t happy with their natural smile may want a smile correction.

If you’re one of many individuals who aren’t satisfied with their smile, a smile makeover can help you turn that frown upside down. This cosmetic dentistry makeover can fix everything from broken teeth to the fullness of your face.

If that sounds like the smile you’ve always wanted, keep reading to find out all of the details.

What is a Smile Makeover?

A smile makeover involves the use of cosmetic dentistry procedures with the aim of improving the appearance of the smile. The various procedures that can be involved include:

  • Composite bonding
  • Dental implants
  • Dental veneers
  • Whitening

Smile corrections are the best option for individuals who require more than just a single cosmetic dentistry treatment to achieve their desired smile.

When considering a smile makeover, you’ll work directly with a dental professional to customize a treatment that enhances your smile in accordance with your physical appearance as well as your desires.

What’s Involved in a Smile Makeover?

Your customized treatment plan will be developed between you and your cosmetic dentist. This combination of treatments will improve the aesthetics of your smile. But they’ll also employ functionally restorative procedures that improve how your teeth function.

Treatment plans will address the following dental concerns in restoring and improving your smile.

Tooth Alignment

One of the more obvious signs of an imperfect smile is crooked, overlapping, or unevenly spaced teeth. Part of a smile restoration might involve correcting any issues with straightness or alignment. This can be achieved with orthodontic treatments such as Invisalign or with veneers.

Missing or Broken Teeth

Having missing or broken teeth not only affects your outward appearance. It can also cause problems with your bite and puts you more at risk for tooth decay. Fixing these issues means avoiding potential problems that can arise down the road.

Implants, bridges, and partial dentures can be used to treat missing teeth depending on the severity. Cosmetic bonding can be used to correct unevenness as well as repair chips and cracks.

Tooth Color

For many of the smile improving procedures involved in a smile makeover, the color and shade of your teeth is an important consideration in your evaluation.

If you’re in need of porcelain veneers, bridges, crowns, composite bonding, or dental implants, then your cosmetic dentist will have to consider your tooth color. This should be evaluated in relation to your skin tone and hair color. An experienced and skilled cosmetic dentist will be able to find the exact right match for your physical characteristics.

Whitening is a great option for reducing the appearance of stains on teeth. They can also improve the appearance of dull teeth. Composite restorations can also replace silver or amalgam fillings for a cleaner and more uniform look.

Gum Recontour

Most people don’t realize how important your gum line is as it relates to your smile. Both recession of the gums and prominent gums can throw off the proportions of your smile and negatively impact your appearance.

A cosmetic dentist can use gum augmentation or gum contouring to balance your gum line with your teeth and smile. Gum augmentation is used for treating gum recession whereas gum contouring is best for prominent gums that need to be reduced.

Maintaining Your Smile Makeover

Once you have the smile you’ve always dreamed of, you have to maintain it. Maintaining your smile correction involves regular treatment and preventative care. It’s practicing good hygiene and avoiding activities that could damage the work you’ve had done.

Your particular maintenance routine will depend on the procedures you’ve had done. Your dentist can help you develop a maintenance and treatment plan that will give you the best results for your particular situation.

Hygiene

Brushing and flossing your teeth are 2 key components of maintaining your new smile. You should be brushing at least twice per day. Flossing can be performed once per day and no more than twice per day (to avoid gum irritation).

Brushing

Avoid using a highly abrasive toothpaste or toothbrush. These can cause scratches on the surface of your teeth, implants, or veneers and, eventually, it will cause them to lose their polish and luster. Instead, look for a fluoride toothpaste that’s non-abrasive. 

Flossing

Nobody likes to floss – except when it’s 1 hour before your next dentist appointment and you’re trying to trick the dental assistant. But it’s a hugely important part of your dental hygiene and maintaining your smile.

Flossing removes plaque and built-up debris from between your teeth and gums. Beyond preventing gum disease and tooth decay, regularly flossing will increase how long your new smile lasts. And because veneers require good gum health, flossing is an essential task for patients receiving this treatment. 

Mouthwash

A note about mouthwash: don’t use it if you have composite fillings, crowns, or veneers.

Why?

Because mouthwash that contains alcohol (i.e. the majority of mouthwashes), will degrade your restorations as well as your teeth. If you can find alcohol-free mouthwash, that’s a much safer option for someone who has had a smile makeover.

Diet and other Precautions

You should know that the food and drink you consume affects your teeth. For example, drinking a lot of coffee can stain teeth and leave them looking yellow. Smoking has the same effect.

So after having a teeth whitening or any other smile correction procedure, you want to avoid anything that can negatively affect the color or structure of your new teeth.

That means staying away from high-sugar foods and drinks. This can help prevent cavities. You should also stay away from coffee, soda, and tea – all of these have a tendency to stain tooth.

Alcohol also has an effect on dental work. As such, alcoholic beverages should be limited and never consumed in excess.

Try not to chew or bite on hard objects that could crack or chip your teeth. And in the case that you suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding), you should get fitted for a nightguard.

Cosmetic Maintenance

Some dental treatments require follow-ups to ensure they continue performing.

If you have your teeth whitened, you may have to repeat the procedure to maintain the whiteness and brightness. That’s especially true if you don’t kick old habits that led to staining in the first place.

Veneers can chip and break. When this happens, you’ll be required to visit the dentist and have them fixed or replaced. 

Crowns generally need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years regardless of how well you’ve taken care of them. Composite bonding is prone to staining and the occasional enhancement or replacement can fix that promptly. Even gum contouring may require upkeep.

Are You a Good Candidate for a Smile Makeover?

If you’re in good dental health overall but you struggle with cosmetic issues, you might be a good candidate for a smile makeover. A good candidate will also have realistic expectations as to what can be accomplished in their smile restoration. They should be aware of, and accept, the risks and recovery process as well as the potential maintenance requirements.

If you’re not happy with how your smile reflects what’s inside, a smile makeover gives you a chance to correct that. Contact us today to find out how we can help.

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Tyler Basler