Design Your Perfect Smile

phoenix_dentist“Everyone wants a perfect smile,” says Dr. Carol Ford from her Phoenix cosmetic dentistry office, “but for every person, the perfect smile might mean something different, either bright white, or perfectly straight, or all natural,” she adds.

Having the smile you want begins with the simplest of all steps: take care of your teeth, suggests the University of Rochester Medical Center. Proper dental hygiene—brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing (or using a floss substitute), and seeing your dentist regularly.

A good relationship with your dentist is important to determining priorities. For one person, that might mean keeping all their natural teeth, for another it might mean using veneers to create the even, bright look of a youthful smile.

Before you start on cosmetic work, it’s a good idea to get your teeth in the best of dental health. Part of a natural smile is a pain-free smile, so taking care of cavities and gum problems is a good first step.

“Once your teeth are healthy, it’s time to formulate a plan,” says Dr. Ford. “For example, if you will need a crown that will show when you smile, you might want to get your teeth whitened first, so the crown will be as bright as your teeth can be,” she explains.

If your teeth need straightening, your dentist will work with you to create a plan to get them in shape. That might mean braces in a severe case, but straightening might also be achieved through veneers if the teeth need a slight adjustment.

If your smile design includes reconstruction, or a foundation for a crown or bridge, your dentist will discuss the steps needed to achieve a healthy mouth that will last over time.

Your dentist looks at more than your smile, your dentist looks at your overall health and how long you can keep your teeth or implants. You might see a smile, but your dentist sees both the past and the future in the smile design.  Most dentists will want to encourage you to make a long term plan, not just to create a bright smile, but to keep it for years to come.

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