girl smiling with confidence

The new year is all about new opportunities, including trying to be a better version of yourself. That can be accomplished in several ways. Some of those involve improving your appearance. Eating healthier and exercising are two common ways to improve your appearance. So does having a nice smile. 

Correlation between Confidence and Success

You might be looking to get a new job or start dating again for the new year. Having a good foundation of confidence can get you there since confidence and success go hand-in-hand. 

Think about a skill you excel at. Maybe you're THE go-to person for a specific work task. Or maybe you have the greenest lawn on your street without needing to hire a landscaper. Whatever that skill is, you have that faith in your abilities to always do it right.

Confident and successful people share many of the same traits.

  • Planned career goals
  • Risk takers
  • Take on challenging tasks 
  • Express strong views to authority figures
  • Stand out in professional circles

But the opposite is also true. Confidence is the last trait you'd expect to see in a negative person.

Correlation between Confidence and a Good Smile

Now, don’t confident people often seem happy? And why shouldn’t they be? Confident people exude an aura of having everything figured out. When you're confident, you'll likely accomplish your goals exactly how you planned.

So what’s the connection? Well, happy people always seem to be smiling—when life gives you lemons, you pour yourself a glass of lemonade. 

This is because the physical act of smiling releases dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin in your brain. All three substances affect your body positively, such as relieving stress, lowering blood pressure, and lifting your mood.

The bottom line is that a pleasant smile reflects confidence, and confidence reflects success. The simple act of smiling can help bring about big changes for you in the coming year.

Different Treatment Options to Improve your Smile

It's no secret smiling comes easier when you have a great smile. Why not work on improving your smile to help you empower yourself to be more confident and achieve the goals you want to achieve? If you’re wondering how do I fix a bad smile, here are some ways you can improve your smile, and increase your confidence, as the new year approaches.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth can lose their shiny, white luster no matter how well you brush and floss. Tooth whitening treatments are one way to turn a dull yellow into a sparkling white.

Color change happens for several reasons. Some of the most common include certain foods and drinks that cause staining, tobacco use, physical trauma, medications, and age.

Whitening products contain either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Both of those bleaches break stains into smaller pieces. Smaller stain pieces are less concentrated, thus, giving your teeth a brighter appearance.

Consult your dentist about the whitening process to see if you’re a good candidate. If so, your dentist will probably recommend one of four options.

  • Stain removal toothpaste – Toothpaste can remove stains thanks to mild abrasives. Whitening toothpaste has additional polishing agents that aid in stain removal.
  • Chairside bleaching – Your dentist applies bleach to your teeth during an office visit.
  • At-home bleaching – Your dentist gives you everything you need to whiten your teeth at home. The kit includes a custom-made tray and bleach solution.
  • Store-bought bleaching – There are numerous whitening products that you can buy over the counter. These include whitening strips, bleaching kits, and certain kinds of toothpaste. The bleaching agent concentration in these products is lower than what your dentist uses in the office.

Dental Crowns

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that fits over your tooth. Patients might need crowns due to decay, tooth damage, protecting a weakened tooth, holding a dental bridge in place, or wear and tear over time.

Crowns can be made from several materials.

  • Metal
  • Porcelain fused to metal
  • Resin
  • Ceramic or porcelain
  • Pressed ceramic

Having a crown put on a tooth usually takes two office visits. Your dentist will examine the tooth to be crowned and take x-rays. The tooth is shaped on the top and sides so that the crown will fit snugly once it is placed. 

The dentist then takes a molding of the tooth that is to receive the crown so that the crown can be properly designed. You’ll also receive a temporary crown to protect that tooth. The permanent crown is permanently cemented in place during the second office visit.

New White Fillings

Most adults get a cavity or two. The easiest way to fix a cavity is with a filling. One type of filling used to repair cavities is composite resin filling.

This type of filling is also referred to as a tooth-colored, white, or plastic filling. Composite fillings are a popular choice among patients who want fillings to resemble their natural teeth.

According to the Dental Board of California, composite fillings are a mixture of powdered glass and plastic resin. The mixture is used for fillings, partial and complete crowns, veneers, inlays, and to repair broken teeth.

Patients who opt for composite fillings can expect the following advantages:

Tooth-colored

  • Durability
  • Requires a single visit for fillings
  • Minimal leak risk when bonded to the enamel
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Holds up well to constant biting pressure
  • Low to moderate need for repair or replacement

They do have some disadvantages, though.

  • Can result in tooth sensitivity
  • Costs more than standard amalgam fillings
  • Substance shrinks during the hardening process, increasing decay risk
  • Multiple visits necessary for crowns, inlays, and veneers
  • Can wear faster than enamel

Be sure to schedule regular central checkups so that your dentist can monitor the composite fillings for wear and tear.

Dental Cleanings

Speaking of dental checkups, regular cleanings are a crucial tool to maintaining a pleasant smile but an overall healthy mouth.

Brushing your teeth manually or with an electric toothbrush is great. But a professional cleaning from a dental hygienist provides a more thorough treatment. 

The first step is to remove tartar that builds on the teeth. Tartar is scraped off by a process called scaling. Your teeth are then polished by using an instrument with a soft rubber cap on the end that holds the polishing paste. Dental polishing pastes are more effective at stain removal than the typical over-the-counter toothpaste you use at home.

Be sure to schedule dental cleanings twice a year or as directed by your dentist.

Straightening Options

Perhaps your smile is dampened with a crooked tooth or two? You don’t have to settle. There are a couple of different teeth straightening options that will give you the smile you deserve. Click here to read a full-length article on different options.

Braces

Braces are a fixed appliance applied by an orthodontist to correct misaligned or crowded teeth or jaws. They are more common among those people who are in their teenage years. But braces can benefit adults too. The end goal of dental braces is to align your teeth and jaws to produce an even bite and correct your smile in the process.

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, a “successful orthodontic treatment depends on three things – pressure, time, and cooperation.” Braces tend to consist of brackets, bands, and wires. They use pressure to gradually move teeth over time into their correct position. Braces can correct several oral issues, including tooth overcrowding, too much space between teeth, overbites, and underbites.

A patient should see their orthodontist every six to ten weeks for a checkup. Your orthodontist will make sure the teeth are properly moving while making any necessary adjustments to the braces.

Preparation for braces typically involves the following steps:

  • Oral exam – An orthodontist will conduct a full exam of your mouth, including your teeth and jaws.
  • X-rays – You’ll undergo a series of x-rays to determine the true positioning of the upper and lower teeth.
  • Dental cast – Your orthodontist will have you bite into a plaster molding to make a model of your teeth. This allows the orthodontist to be able to evaluate your entire bite.
  • Tooth extraction – Sometimes, tooth removal is necessary due to an overcrowded mouth. This will allow your teeth to fit together properly when the realignment is complete.
  • Jaw repositioning – Severe cases require the surgical repositioning of the jaw prior to orthodontics.

Now your orthodontist can determine your exact course of treatment. The treatment plan consists of three steps: braces placement, periodic adjustments, and retainer usage upon braces removal. Braces are made up of several components:

  • Brackets – They are typically attached to the front tooth surfaces. Brackets can be made from stainless steel, clear ceramic, or tooth-colored ceramic.
  • Ring-like bands – These bands encircle the molars. The bands are made from either stainless steel or titanium. The connecting wire is secured into a tube that is attached to the band.
  • Archwire – This is the wire that connects to all the brackets and the bands. The archwire drives teeth movement.
  • Elastic or metal ties – These connect the wire to the brackets.
  • Headgear – This connects to the braces. It is usually worn only at night and is more common with complex bite cases. The headgear helps create additional pressure.

Clear Aligners

Clear aligners are an alternative to traditional braces. Like braces, they are designed to slowly move your teeth a little at a time. But unlike braces, which are a combination of many pieces working together to reposition your teeth, clear aligners are plastic replicas of your teeth.

As with a braces exam, the orthodontist will need x-rays, photographs, and an impression of your teeth. That information allows the orthodontist to determine the treatment course of action.

The orthodontist then creates a series of plastic aligners using your teeth molding as the starting point. Wearing the aligners puts slight pressure on your teeth, slowly causing them to move. Each set of aligners is worn for a week or two for 22 hours each day or at a time prescribed by your orthodontist.

Find a Dentist Near You to Kickstart Your Confidence

Consult your dentist to discuss the various methods and which one is best to give you a smile makeover as you head into the new year. Or, check out Find a Dentist tool to find a dentist near you for your smile improvement needs. You can read patient reviews, peruse staff bios, and schedule an appointment online with a click of your mouse.

Sources:

  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/braces/about/pac-20384607
  • https://www.aaoinfo.org/blog/how-orthodontics-works-braces/
  • https://www3.aaoinfo.org/blog/orthodontic-treatment-with-clear-aligners/
  • https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/c/composite-fillings
  • https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/w/whitening
  • https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/10923-dental-crowns
  • https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/dental-visits/how-does-a-tooth-polishing-procedure-work
  • https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/communication-success/201401/7-keys-establishing-confident-impression
  • https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201206/there-s-magic-in-your-smile