Buddhist author Thich Nhat Hanh said, “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
Ahhh… smiles. They are wonderful! The power of a smile is amazing. There is actually a chemical reason behind their ability to make us feel good. The act of smiling causes the brain to release chemicals known as endorphins, which have been shown to give us a ‘natural high,’ of sorts.
And, smiles can change a person and how others see them. I remember meeting a now-longtime friend for the first time. We were new to the neighborhood and I remember her spiky red hair. Although the style was ‘in’ at the time, it just didn’t seem to fit her.
After a year or so, she found a new stylist who totally changed her look. The stylist softened the cut and changed the color to a blend of sandy blonde shades. It not only took ten years off Sue Ann, it gave her a more approachable look overall. Better yet, it made Sue Ann feel more confident in her appearance. Immediately, she went from being an occasional smiler to a frequent smiler. She smiled more fully and seemed more social and happier.
What happened to Sue Ann wasn’t as much a hairstyle change as it was a boost in self-esteem. This internal effect radiated out in her smile. And, that smile is what people noticed, from then on, far more than her hair. I’d never heard people comment on her smile until then, but it became a frequent compliment “You have a lovely smile,” people would often say.
Smiling has a lot to do when it comes to how we’re perceived and how people are drawn to us, or not. For example, studies have shown that people who smile more are perceived as more confident, more content, more successful, more outgoing, and more attractive.
A 2016 article in Psychology Today, “The 9 SuperPowers Of Your Smile,” also shared how smiling can make you appear thinner and more youthful. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/changepower/201605/the-9-superpowers-your-smile)
But, when it comes to a genuine smile that creates all these positive reactions, there is a catch. When an individual feels good about the appearance of their smile, they tend to smile wider and more sincerely. When a smile lacks the balanced appeal of straight, white teeth, some smilers tend to hold back. They may try to conceal their smiles with a hand or smile without showing their teeth.
If you were lucky enough to be born with a beautiful smile, you are in the minority. Most of us, after the awkward adolescent phase of growing into our big, permanent teeth, emerged as adults with a variety of smile flaws. These flaws could be any combination of crooked teeth; teeth that are discolored; teeth bordered by varying levels of gums; and teeth that have endured such hazards as chips, breaks, and decay.
When an individual decides to seek out smile enhancement, it seems like every dentist is a ‘cosmetic dentist.’ While dental school provides general dentists with instructions in the placement of crowns and veneers, there is a tremendous range when it comes to skills, experience, and talent. Too, the commitment to a highly-natural look and feel can mean a smile that exudes confidence versus one that looks downright fake.
I once had a new patient come to me after a dentist had performed cosmetic dentistry to repair a gap between her two front teeth. Rather than involve some of the neighboring teeth into her treatment for a balanced look, the dentist used bonding material to fill in the gap, leaving her with two ‘bunny’ teeth. She was horrified! While she’d gotten a “bargain rate” on treatment, she was left with a smile that was unflattering and unnatural. That’s no bargain.
In esthetic dentistry, it takes an experienced ‘eye’ to treatment plan what will work best for each individual. For example, someone who has straight teeth may not realize why they are unhappy with their smile. A trained eye, however, may see that they are too short or arched by too much gum tissue. Or both.
It’s like an interior designer. I’m always amazed at how ASID professionals can walk into a room and envision what pieces will fit in a way that’s balanced and inviting. It’s the same with an experienced cosmetic dentist. Experience, advanced training, and a high skill level mean we are able to determine how the shape, shade and length of teeth can complement facial features while providing the most natural look and feel possible.
Whether your smile could improve with whitening, porcelain crowns, porcelain veneers, bonding, straightening, or gum re-contouring, the goal is to LOVE the result! When you love the way your smile looks, you’ll smile more often and project a more positive, confident, and happy individual. While no cosmetic dentistry is inexpensive, getting the work done correctly is as important as it is to have it done beautifully.
Imagine investing in porcelain crowns and veneers for a beautiful smile makeover. Then, down the road, you – seemingly out of nowhere – chip one of the veneers. Later, you start to notice you’re waking up with a dull headache that tends to worsen throughout the day. Eventually, you realize that your jaw joints are tender and your dental hygienist points out that you have signs indicating ‘bruxism,’ or tooth grinding.
What can occur, when cosmetic dentistry is not performed with the advantages of neuro-muscular dentistry, is bite misalignment. A neuromuscular dentist can incorporate the proper alignment of teeth in order to eliminate stress or strain to the TMJ, or jaw joints.
When properly aligned teeth support the function of these joints, surrounding muscles work in unison. When disparities exist in bite alignment, the result can be a wide range of problems that may seem unrelated to how teeth work together. Yet, we’ve treated patients who have suffered for years with symptoms that became downright debilitating.
TMJ disorder can cause frequent headaches; migraines; ear ringing; dizziness; worn teeth, night-time clenching or grinding; sore jaw joints; aching muscles in the face, shoulders and neck; jaw popping; and even tingling in the fingers. Many people never relate these problems to their bite. Some spend years (and thousands of dollars) going from specialist to specialist in search of a solution.
In our office, we utilize advanced diagnostic technology to pinpoint the true source of bite problems that are contributing to TMJ issues. By knowing precisely when (or if) the problem exists, we can effectively and efficiently resolve the problem, for good!
We also utilize the advanced technology of a dental laser in creating an attractive shape and height of gum tissues that ‘frame’ the teeth involved in treatment. A laser helps with precision contouring while sealing the tissues as it moves. This minimizes bleeding and speeds healing time as well.
Having received advanced training in both neuromuscular dentistry and cosmetic dentistry at one of the world’s most prestigious training institutes (LVI), I’ve been able to recreate smiles that allow the true joy of an individual to step forward! And, these smiles are the BEST reason to have your cosmetic procedures done here. My cosmetic dentistry patients often become different people after their smiles are enhanced. They seem to be smiling all the time, are more outgoing, and often more positive about life in general! Again, the power of a smile is amazing!
It won’t cost you a thing to discuss your smile and ways we can create the smile you’ve always imagined. Call 586-739-2155 to schedule a no-charge consultation. During this time, I’ll make suggestions and answer your questions in a private setting.
If desired, we can also have you meet with our Financial Coordinator. She will be happy to explain several payment plans that can break your treatment fee into affordable monthly amounts.
It is said that smiles are the universal language. Let your smile be one that makes a statement of pure joy and total confidence!