Giving the Gift of a Smile for the Holidays

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woman fake smile high school graduation

Who doesn’t love making their friends and family smile over the holidays? Whether you’re hosting a party, giving gifts, or dressing up a Santa Claus, it’s a great feeling to know that you’re the reason behind someone’s smile. What about literally gifting someone a new smile, though? After all, our smiles are among the first things that other people notice. If reality doesn’t match with our expectations, that can severely affect someone’s confidence and self-esteem. And if a loved one feels like they can’t really enjoy themselves at holiday gatherings because they’re embarrassed about the appearance of their smile, that can definitely put a damper on their holiday season.

This is why some people decide to give the gift of a smile for the holidays. It may not be as traditional as other gift ideas, but it can be infinitely more appreciated. How to start the process, though? By finding the best dentists in your area. For example, someone looking for an Atlanta dentist could opt for a dentistry practice such as Atlanta Dental Spa. Look for a practice who has plenty of good reviews, and emphasizes the patient’s experience just as much as their end result. Once you’ve found the right dentist, what’s next? The dentist will discuss the best strategy for the desired results, which could include one of the following procedures.

Teeth whitening

A lackluster smile isn’t always caused by crooked or missing teeth; sometimes the issue is more surface-level. Teeth stains can be caused by any number of factors, such as coffee or wine consumption, or enamel erosion due to aging. Even with good dental hygiene habits, these stains can stick around for years.

The good news is that this can often be corrected with a teeth whitening procedure. It’s non-invasive, safe, and completely painless – which is great news for whoever’s getting it done! Some people even get it done for special occasions, which tells you just how easy it is. The process only takes a couple of hours, and it usually produces better results than at-home whitening products (such as specially formulated toothpaste, or whitening strips). The results will look more natural, as well as being more uniform; there’s also less of a chance of developing long-term sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures.

Invisalign

For someone who has minor cosmetic issues such as overlapping teeth or gaps between teeth, an Invisalign solution might be the best option. How does it work? Invisalign systems are aligner trays made of clear plastic polymer, meaning that they’re much more discreet than traditional braces. Provided there aren’t any teeth that need drastic changes in orientation, Invisalign accomplishes similar results to braces – minus the discomfort and frequent visits for adjustments. It can even be removed during meals, while taking photos, or for social situations. This lets the patient obtain their ideal smile, without requiring a specific diet along the way.

The dentist will use scanners to map out the patient’s current smile, as well as what their smile should look like once the treatment is done. Then the Invisalign solution will be custom-built to gradually move the teeth to their optimal positions, without causing any pain in the process.

Tooth-colored fillings

Some people have metal fillings that cause their teeth to look gray or discolored. Even if they don’t harm the function of a person’s teeth, they can still affect someone’s confidence in their own smile. There’s also the fact that metal fillings contain about 50% mercury, which has no known safe level of exposure. Even though the American Dental Association continues to claim that these dental amalgam fillings are safe, numerous studies indicate otherwise. They could also be suffering from cavities, which can cause discoloration and significant pain. The benefits of these fillings include:

  • Reducing the chances that a root canal will be needed later on
  • Avoiding further decay or tooth loss due to cavities
  • Enhancing the appearance of the teeth
  • Removing toxic materials from the patient’s mouth
  • Restoring long-term function of the teeth with strong, durable fillings

The process can generally be completed in one visit, and the results normally last for decades.

Braces

For more serious orthodontic problems, braces might be the required solution. In fact, they’re used to treat a number of severe conditions, such as:

  • Narrow palates
  • Floating teeth
  • Missing permanent teeth
  • Jaw misalignment
  • Underbites
  • Overbites
  • Crowding
  • Crooked teeth

In many cases, braces don’t just fix cosmetic issues; they can also have other effects on the recipient’s quality of life. For example, issues with someone’s teeth or bite pattern can affect their ability to enunciate clearly, cause headaches, promote tooth decay or gum disease, or make chewing more difficult.

One of the main drawbacks of getting braces is that they can take quite a long time before producing the desired results. However, this is to be expected; if the dental issues are severe enough to require braces, they probably won’t be good candidates for quick fixes or simple cosmetic procedures.

Another reason why some people hesitate to get braces is that they’re usually painful and inconvenient. Regular visits to the orthodontist are required for adjustments, and these generally result in increased pain levels as teeth are forced to move into a more ideal position.

Veneers

For those who’ve always wanted that dazzling Hollywood smile, veneers might be the secret to fulfilling their dreams. Veneers are composed of extremely durable composite material, which is placed over the teeth to improve their color, length, and shape. Veneers can be used to correct crooked teeth, increase uniformity between teeth, close gaps in the smile, and even enhance facial features. With the right care and dental hygiene, veneers can last for up to two decades.

The takeaway

From boosting self-esteem, to bringing more confidence in social situations, getting a new smile can have a number of positive effects. It can even impact someone’s career, personal relationships, and more! Whatever option you end up gifting someone for the holidays, there’s no doubt that they’ll continue to benefit from your thoughtfulness for quite some time.