Why Smiles Are Important to Attractiveness
Architecturally speaking, did you know that a smile comprises 60 percent of the weight of the face? That’s why a smile creates an immediate, subconscious, visual impact on people you meet.
Statistics reveal that we place a high value on our smiles. According to an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) survey:
• Virtually all adults (99.7%) believe a smile is an important social asset and 96% of adults believe an attractive smile makes a person more appealing to members of the opposite sex.
• Three-quarters (74%) of adults feel an unattractive smile can hurt a person’s chance for career success.
• And when respondents were asked, “What would you like to improve most about your smile?” The most common response was: Whiter and brighter teeth.
While there are many cosmetic dentistry approaches to improving a smile, teeth whitening remains one of the most economical ways to enhance your appearance. If a more dramatic smile improvement is needed, porcelain veneers and dental bonding are two popular methods that reshape teeth and can provide a whiter color adjustment.
Did you know?
How White Should You Go?
Whether you are seeking consultation for whitening, veneers, or bonding, communicating with your cosmetic dentist is an important first step in deciding which treatment option makes sense for you and the right amount of whitening needed.
“Tooth colors need to be in harmony with the skin tone and whites of the eyes,” says Dr. Frank Milnar, an AACD Accredited cosmetic dentist from Minnesota. “‘Hollywood white’ smiles can be distracting because you tend to look only at a person’s teeth and not at their whole face.”
Dr. Milnar is also an educator for AACD instructing other dentists on how to achieve “natural esthetics.” A natural smile is actually “polychromatic” or a nuanced combination of colors.
Overwhitening can cause teeth to become more monochromatic and opaque.
“At the extreme end of the tooth whitening spectrum, ‘whitening addicts’ can bleach out the color, which is an esthetic violation; the teeth become more fluorescent and it almost hurts to look at them,” warns Milnar.
Deciduous (baby) teeth are typically whiter than the adult teeth that appear later. As we age, our adult teeth often become darker, yellower, or stained. This is partly why white teeth make people appear more youthful.
Just as there are a number of ways to lighten or brighten teeth, there are also several different ways for teeth to become discolored.
Causes of Tooth Discoloration
The main causes of darkened teeth are:
• Certain foods
Internal tooth discoloration is caused by changes in the enamel of the tooth and the dentin. The main causes of internal tooth discoloration are exposure to high levels of fluoride, tetracycline, the use of antibiotics as a child, developmental disorders, tooth decay, restorations, root canal issues, and trauma.
External tooth discoloration is caused by factors outside the body, mainly foods and tobacco. The main causes of external tooth yellowing are smoking, foods with tannins, coffee, tea, and dark colored soda.