The perfect smile is like the perfect body. Everybody wants one (or has it sold to them), but it seems very difficult to attain. The philosophical questions surrounding perfection, its existence and its attainability aside, some folks choose to answer this question by ignoring it. If that Hollywood smile is so taxing to attain, is it really worth the effort? Alas, such a result often means that when someone finally does decide to get their teeth fixed up, the to-do list is so long and expensive they immediately hide from it again and try to pretend the problem doesn’t exist. Such an approach is self-defeating.
The truth of the matter is even if the “perfect smile” may be mythical, an attractive smile is not. And your teeth are one of the first things people will notice about your face. In order to make a good impression and for the sake good of self-esteem, and even good health, it’s important to ensure your teeth are in good shape.
When to Get Your Teeth Fixed
There are a wide range of motivations behind finally realising the time has come to sit in the dentist chair and getting your teeth seen to. All motives are equally valid, but some may be more pressing than others, and require priority when it comes to arranging your dental wish list. Here are a few that may warrant intervention.
Irregularly aligned teeth. Everyone’s teeth will be at least slightly crooked. This in itself is no cause for concern, and is perfectly natural. In fact some people even have cosmetic dentistry done to alter their teeth precisely for this “natural” look, as having teeth perfectly aligned often looks too inauthentic. However, realignment may become essential if the positioning of your teeth causes discomfort or pain.
For example, sometimes when teeth grow they do so at odd angles, and start to press against each other. This is especially a problem if you have a smaller-than-average jaw, as there is less room for teeth to grow into. Other times, they may grow in such a way that there are more gaps than usual between them, and this can cause serious oral health problems. The more food that can be trapped between your teeth, the more bacteria is allowed to build. Eventually, this can lead to tooth decay or gum disease.
In such a case, you’ll need your teeth realigned so that these issues are alleviated or removed.
Broken or cracked teeth. Accidents happen, whether it’s a sporting injury, a nasty fall, or biting into something that was harder than you expected it to be. Either way, cracked or broken teeth are a problem that need serious fixing.
For one thing, the damage is painful. For as long as it’s there, you’ll suffer severe discomfort while eating, and no one wants to live with that. Further cracks and the lack offer another nook for plaque to build up in, which will eventually lead to further damage and decay. Worse, as the damage is inside the tooth enamel, which is both very hard to clean and exceedingly vulnerable.
Aesthetics. Sometimes the solution is simply the desire for a better smile. There is nothing wrong with this: your physical appearance is your business. Whether it’s wanting to look good for an important job interview, or for very special family occasions such as weddings or reunions, this may be the jolt you need to consider your teeth and the state they’re in.
Dealing with the Costs
Of course, dentistry is not cheap. Often if it’s not a fear of dentists that keeps people out of the practice, it’s fear of breaking the bank because of the dentist’s bills.
There are ways in which you can reduce or avoid the damage. First and foremost, if your job offers a health package as part of your employee perks, be sure to check the dental plan. The majority of health packages will offer small reductions on various dental treatments, including small treatments such as braces or crowns. If there is pressing need for the treatment you’re after, you may even have the treatments paid for entirely by your health insurance.
Another common-sense way to avoid high dental costs is this – keep realistic and keep things in perspective. You may want a long list of touch ups to your teeth, however some of them may not be all that essential. A lot of cosmetic issues, principally whiteness, can often be corrected through careful oral hygiene at home and adjustment of your diet. Have a look at the things you’d like done and question them for a bit. Is this essential to your oral hygiene? Or just something you’d like done for its own sake? Reduce your list down to the core essentials, things that definitively have a positive impact on your dental health. Look at anything else with any budget you have left over.
Finally, talk to your dentist — they will be more than happy to work with you to find the best solution for your dental health and financial situation.
Do Not Panic
A big list of things to do in order to fix your teeth can be a little intimidating, especially if dentist visits are not your favourite thing to do in the world. Don’t panic. Take a deep breath and approach things from a logical perspective.
Remember that your teeth are an important part of your body, and that they are very hard to replace if they’re lost. As such you need to give them very important consideration. Any money placed into getting your teeth fixed is an investment, and a very good one too. Good oral health not only improves your self-image, but also your dental health and your overall health as well. So in the end, it’s only a benefit upon a benefit.
And also, think about it. Once it’s over, you don’t have to worry about it anymore. So why put it off just so you can worry about it even more at a later date?