Do you remember looking forward to Halloween as a child? Did you spend days or hours imagining all the possible costumes and characters you could dress up in? Maybe you still are excited when the leaves start turning and fall comes around, waiting for that last day of October to arrive. Even though Halloween has become a holiday that is no longer restricted to kids, when adults have the opportunity to get in on the fun, some things have remained. Scary costumes—mummies, werewolves, Frankenstein’s monster, and the like—were popular costumes, and scary costumes remain popular. You may be looking forward to donning a scary costume and enjoying a frighteningly fun Halloween. Your scary costume might even have a set of fake scary teeth to complete the look. But, if your daily smile looks off to you, like something that might be part of a Halloween costume, chances are you are not excited about a scary smile.
When your Teeth Let you Down
If you have had issues with caries disease for a large part of your life, there’s a fair chance you are not happy with your smile. Dental restorations can help restore the strength of your teeth, but depending on the materials used, they may have changed the cosmetic appearance of your teeth. Amalgam fillings are strong, but they are visible in the mouth, making the filled area of the teeth look dark and silvery. If you are in the middle of having a crown or a dental implant fitted for the repair of a tooth that was severely decayed, you may be extremely dissatisfied with the temporary appearance of your mouth. Even without major decay issues, some people feel pressure to have extremely white and shiny teeth or are self-conscious about a crooked or less than perfectly straight, magazine cover smile. Studies indicate that dissatisfaction with smiles has a negative impact on self-esteem. If you are dissatisfied with the cosmetic appearance of your teeth, you may even smile less. If you feel like Halloween all year, you may desire a smile change.
Changing it Up
Cosmetic dentistry is the area of dentistry that aims to increase your satisfaction with your smile by changing the appearance of your smile for aesthetic reasons. If you are unhappy with the appearance of your teeth, you might visit a dentist knowledgeable in this area of dentistry to develop a plan to improve your satisfaction with your mouth’s appearance. Solutions can be as simple as tooth whitening to improve the overall brightness of your smile to more complex solutions like veneers, which completely change the appearance of the teeth. If untreated caries are causing your smile woes, tooth-colored restorations may be the answer to increasing your satisfaction with your appearance. While it is true that cosmetic solutions do not necessarily make your teeth healthier, some treatments can be both cosmetic in that they improve the appearance and your satisfaction with your smile, and restorative in that the treatment makes the tooth stronger.
Is It Enough?
So, will changing up your smile’s appearance make your “monstrous” smile healthy? If you really want a healthy smile that stays beautiful, it’s worth investing your time and energy on building up a great care routine. Healthy teeth are beautiful regardless of their color on any whitening chart because being healthy and pain-free truly are what make teeth pleasing. If you have tooth whitening done, either at home or in a dental office, you may find that a product with nanohydroxyapatite provides relief from the sensitivity associated with whitening. If caries have been a lifelong struggle, spend some time with your dental care team working on a caries risk assessment to get to the root of what has been causing your disease. High pH oral rinse can help make your oral environment cavity resistant. If bacterial overgrowth is a problem, you may even benefit from an antimicrobial rinse. Treating dry mouth can also help keep your teeth in top shape.
Having a healthy smile you are proud of is a real treat, better than any fun-sized Halloween sugar bomb. Just remember that you are the one who lives with your smile daily, so feeling confident about your smile is a gift you can give yourself. Don’t stress about trying to obtain a “Hollywood smile” if what will really make you happy is some self-acceptance and a healthy smile.