Famed biologist Charles Darwin once noted that smiling is truly universal, unlike other forms of physical and verbal communication, which can differ from culture to culture.
So, what happens when our dental hygiene is less than ideal and hampers our ability to smile confidently? A study in India observed that how one thinks their smile looks directly affects their social and psychological well-being, commonly reflected in behaviour and self-confidence.
Another study suggested that those who place importance on oral health use dental appearance as a basis for making judgments on the psychological adjustment and intellectual competence of others.
All this means that our teeth could impact our quality of life. For this reason, it’s essential to maintain them.
On a basic level, this implies brushing multiple times daily, flossing and keeping a rigorous schedule for dental checkups—all simple strategies for preserving the health and brilliance of a smile. However, none of these can change the actual placement of your teeth. If, for example, you have gaps or misaligned teeth, several other long-term options are available.
Traditional braces, consisting of metal brackets glued individually to each of your teeth and attached to an archwire, use pressure to move teeth over time into the desired position. Commonly, they are used to correct crowded/crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw and take roughly 24 months. They also require a retainer afterward to help prevent teeth from defaulting to their former state.
While historically predominant among individuals in their adolescence, at least one out of every three patients were over 18 as of 2020—and that number seems to be steadily increasing. This is partly due to the rise of alternative options, such as invisible braces .
Invisalign has become increasingly popular as it enables users to freely remove their clear plastic aligners, whether to eat, drink, brush, clean or take a break. While they are still expensive, they are generally less costly than traditional braces; the whole treatment timeline is dramatically reduced, taking anywhere from 9-18 months. They require a retainer afterward, but the cost, combined with the relative ease of use (mainly self-directed), makes it a popular choice.
Remember that if you opt for a third-party aligner option like Smile Direct Club, you must consult your dentist or orthodontist first. Why? Because simply put, it’s not wise to invest thousands on straightening teeth that may have more significant issues.
If one is going for a more refined movie star look, braces or Invisalign straighten your teeth as is—they don’t dramatically reshape and refine them. Therefore, some opt for veneers placed on existing teeth to improve their look instantly. They can cost more, starting at approximately $450 per veneer, which can add up quickly if you need a lot of teeth done at once.
As well, they aren’t permanent and need to be redone after an extended period. Porcelain laminate veneers last 10 to 12 years before needing to be replaced, while composite resin veneers last around 4 to 8 years.
When making a smile the best it can be, you shouldn’t let the price tag influence your decision. LendCare’s financing enables you to break the cost of high dental bills—long-term treatment or minor procedures and check-ups—into small manageable monthly payments. That means you can get the level of care you deserve, no matter your budget. To learn more, contact us today.