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I Want a Confident Smile

GRIN AND BARE IT: D.I.Y. DENTISTRY

"There's a backlash to that blinding Hollywood smile," says cosmetic dentist Dr. Marc Lowenberg. "People now want perfectly imperfect teeth: more translucent color, slight asymmetry, even a few minor chips." Here, the latest smile upgrades:

BRIGHTEN UP
PROBLEM:
Stains and discoloration
FAST FIX: Pola+ (about $1200), an hour-long in-office treatment that doesn't require a light or laser (which can heighten sensitivity) to activate the peroxide in the gel.

STRAIGHT TALK
PROBLEM:
Crooked teeth
FAST FIX: Veneers (about $1500 to $2200 a tooth) in custom-blended shades: "If your skin has cool undertones, it needs a cooler white shade; warm tones work best with warmer white," says NYC dentist Dr. Jennifer Jablow.

HIGH STREET
PROBLEM:
Sagging cheeks
FAST FIX: Expanding the back segments of the upper teeth a few millimeters (with veneers or Invisalign tray braces) results in a mini face-lift, explains Jablow. "The wider bite creates a tighter scaffold for the lower third of the face, so skin drapes tighter."

 

Originally published on December 17, 2008

 

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How Do I Measure Up? Get the Facts Fast!

Number of Days Per Week I Floss

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Answer:
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Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

SOURCES:

American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

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