Studies have shown that an attractive smile is an important factor in building self-esteem.(1, 2) In addition, a healthy smile promotes a positive self-image and increases confidence. Unfortunately, some people feel self-conscious about their teeth, to the point that they refuse to smile for photos.
If you are unhappy with your smile, you may want to speak to your dentist about possible solutions. On this page, we describe the most common complaints people have about their smile, and list some of the available options to help treat them.
Teeth can become discoloured for a number of reasons, including tobacco, different foods and drinks, medications, genetics, ageing, and poor oral hygiene. If your teeth are discoloured to the point that if affects your self-esteem, you may want to consider whitening options:
- Porcelain veneers thin covers that are placed over the front of your existing teeth to change their shape and provide a whiter appearance.
- In-home whitening gels are used with a special mould of your teeth, once a day for up to two weeks.
- In-office whitening, conducted by a dentist, produces the whitening results in one session.
You can read more details about teeth whitening on our pages “Broken tooth or filling?” and “Discoloured, chipped, worn or crooked teeth?”
There are a number of options to treat chipped teeth, including:
- Porcelain veneers, as mentioned earlier, can change the shape of the front of your teeth, hiding any chips.
- Porcelain crowns are similar to veneers, but they cover the whole tooth instead of just the front.
- Composite bonding, is like a filling, but instead of going into a cavity inside your tooth they are used to re-build chips on the outside of your teeth.
- Depending on the severity of the chips, your teeth may need to be replaced with a prosthetic or implant.
You can read more details about broken or chipped teeth on our pages “Broken tooth or filling?” and “Discoloured, chipped, worn or crooked teeth?”.