Editorial Contribution by Sally Writes
African Americans are more likely to have untreated tooth decay than their white peers, indicates research by Pew Trusts, and this health issue begins early – in children as young as two to eight years of age. Oral health is a vital yet often neglected component of good physical and mental health, with a study by Dominique Como and colleagues reporting that having decayed or missing teeth can result in lost productivity, a lack of self-confidence, and other problems. If you aren’t 100% happy with your smile, you are suffering oral pain, or you simply wish to address problems such as missing teeth, inflamed gums, or misaligned teeth, how can a smile makeover be of aid?
The Psychological Effects Of Poor Oral Health
A smile is one of the most universally effective ways to communicate and depict confidence, attractiveness and sociability. As stated in research by the American Academy of Periodontology, oral health issues such as gum disease may negatively affect a person’s way of smiling, stopping them from expressing positive emotions through their smile. Another study by P Kaur and colleagues showed that dental disorders such as dental trauma, tooth loss and untreated cavities have a major effect on self-esteem. As stated by researcher M Inglehart, “Smiling plays a significant and essential role in overall well-being… it can affect social interactions, self-confidence and can influence how people perceive one another.”
What Does A Smile Makeover Involve?
Smile makeovers can involve one or more of a number of different treatments – including scaling (cleaning below the gumline), the use of orthodontics such as brackets to correct misaligned teeth, the use of palate expanders to enable teeth to grow in their right position in the mouth, the application of implants to replace missing teeth, and the application of veneers. The latter, made of porcelain, last around 15 to 20 years, and can correct aesthetic problems in a speedier fashion than orthodontics and other methods. If you do opt for an aesthetic makeover, know that veneers need similar care to teeth. That is, you will need to proactively avoid tooth and gum disease by brushing and flossing after meals. You will also need to avoid tobacco products and red wine (which can stain teeth), avoid very hard foods (which can crack veneers or implants), and visit your dentist every six months for examination.
Cutting Edge Technologies In Smile Design
Today, smile makeovers involve the use of cutting edge technology that enables patients to play a big role in choosing the design of veneers and implants. This is possible thanks to the use of various scans to show patients exactly how their smile will look from every angle – including the interior of the mouth. These include CT scans (which show the positioning of teeth and bone), dental scans (to elicit the health of teeth), and facial scans. Using the information gleaned from these scans, dental professionals can create authentic 3D images of the final appearance of your new smile. They can even present patients with the exact shade they have chosen for veneers or implants.
The African American community has a higher rate of cavities and other oral health problems than some other groups. This can affect their chances of smiling with confidence and authentic joy. Today, new technologies enable dentists to design smiles patients are truly happy with, since they can play a key role in designing everything from tooth size to color and positioning.