How to Have a Nice Smile

Basic maintenance, plus a few advances in dentistry can now help you acquire the attractive smile you've always wanted.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Consider having braces to move crooked teeth into a better alignment. Besides conventional orthodontics, there is now the option of clear braces, which go virtually unseen.
  • Step 2: Have your teeth resurfaced with a thin veneer of bonded porcelain. Your teeth are whitened and straightened in a couple of weeks. Now that's something to smile about.
  • FACT: Among the most common contributors to tooth discoloration are antibiotics, fluoride, tea and coffee, and genetic factors.
  • Step 3: Ask your dentist to fix unsightly or missing teeth with porcelain crowns. The crown covers the tooth and strengthens it.
  • Step 4: Have your dentist add a bonded composite material to misshapen or rotated teeth. The downside is that, over time, bonded surfaces lose some of their surface detail.
  • Step 5: Bleach your teeth. Teeth whitening kits are available at drug stores, or you can make an appointment with your dentist for in-office bleaching.
  • TIP: In chair-side bleaching, the dentist applies a hydrogen peroxide solution to your teeth. With tray bleaching, the dentist places custom trays over your teeth for one to three weeks.
  • Step 6: Use an electric toothbrush to keep your teeth clean. And don't forget to floss to keep your gums healthy.

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