With the summer season quickly approaching, you most likely are already familiar with the various tasks and plans to celebrate the end of high school. From scheduling senior portraits and purchasing prom attire to ordering your cap and gown, the stress of high school graduation is easy to see. Considering your friends and family members will be taking numerous photos of you during this rite of passage, ensuring your smile is healthy, white, and bright is smart. Unfortunately, you may not be placing enough emphasis on your dental health during your senior year of high school. Thankfully, using these simple solutions, you can enhance your smile before graduation day.
Schedule a Cleaning
Consult your dentist a few months before the graduation festivities begin for a routine exam. During the exam, your dentist will complete a series of x-rays to rule out underlying concerns and conduct a detailed cleaning of your teeth. Since food particles and bacteria quickly build up on the surface of your teeth, a cleaning removes the residue to prevent heavy discoloration and potential gum disease.
After your exam and cleaning, consider a professional whitening treatment to remove stubborn stains from your surface enamel. Treatments not only whiten your smile, but also brighten your teeth to ensure an attractive smile in your graduation photos. For the best results, be sure to avoid the following after your whitening treatment:
- Tobacco – If you are one of the 3,000 children and teens who begin using tobacco each day, quitting is imperative. Although tooth discoloration is common side effect of smoking and chewing tobacco, the habit also increases your risk of gum disease and oral cancer.
- Coffee – For many students, coffee is essential for studying for exams and writing papers. Unfortunately, it is also the most common cause of tooth stains. Be sure to avoid drinking your favorite coffee beverage at least 48 hours after your whitening treatment. Skip tea, soda, and wine, as well.
- Acidic Foods – Limit the consumption of acidic foods, as well. Oranges, lemons, limes, and tomato products erode the surface enamel of your teeth, increasing your risk of staining and decay.
When looking back at your senior portraits and graduation-day pictures, you will want to see a healthy, clean, and white smile. While cleaning and whitening treatments are great options for improving the surface appeal of your smile, you may require a more involved form of enhancement.
If you have a broken tooth or are missing teeth, consider dental veneers. Bonded directly to your existing teeth, these porcelain coverings are durable and realistic.
Porcelain veneers are an expensive restoration for your smile. However, this permanent enhancement can be a great investment to improve your look and self-esteem.
Repair your "Gummy Smile"
While surprising to hear, excessive gum tissue will decrease the appeal of your smile. Known as "gummy smile," the condition affects 14 percent of female patients and 7 percent of male patients. The following are possible causes of the condition:
- Abnormal Tooth Eruption – During an abnormal tooth eruption, excessive gum tissue forms around the teeth of the upper jaw.
- Overactive Lip Muscle – If the lip muscle is hyperactive, the upper lip will rise higher than normal. This exposes a larger amount of gum tissue.
- Unique Bone Development – Many patients with a "gummy smile" have a protruded jaw, which exposes more gum tissue.
Removing the excess gum tissue is a great option for repairing your smile. While there are surgical options available, laser gum contouring is an effective, non-invasive procedure. After the procedure, your dentist will suggest light rest, soft foods, and ibuprofen for any discomfort, but you will be back to your graduation activities in a few days.
You will feel a great deal of happiness on your graduation day, so showing off a healthy, confident smile is important. With these simple solutions, your smile will be ready for graduation day. Click here to find out more.