If you’re a high school senior, it’s time to start thinking about taking your senior pictures, which is far more than casual photos. These pictures will go down in the history of your school yearbook and will looked at by family, friends and others for decades to come. Your smile is probably the first thing people will notice in your senior pictures, so an appointment with Dr. Ashley Niles will help you find the best way to improve your smile before this milestone event.
One thing that every high school senior strives for is to look picture perfect at this monumental time in your life. When it comes time to snap those senior photos, you’re sure to shine, but will your teeth? Pre-photo cosmetic dentistry provides the option to perfect your smile before saying, “cheese”. These dental services help even the most damaged teeth to shine. If you’ve ever wondered about which dental procedure you should consider, here are a few ways to ensure a radiant smile come at photo time.
Whitening and Brightening
The most common non-invasive cosmetic service is teeth whitening. Dr. Ashley Niles of Niles Family Dentistry uses a tray whitening process that you apply at home. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, recommends using custom-fitted mouth trays made by your dentist, stating that home bite-tray whitening is the most effective and safest whitening treatment available. Although many over-the-counter products are available for whitening teeth without dentist supervision, there can be problems associated with this method. Tooth-whitening gel can leak out of ill-fitting trays causing irritation to your gums, and they do not whiten as efficiently as custom trays. With trays that specifically fit your mouth and your bite, you can avoid these problems.
Before starting the whitening process, Dr. Niles will clean your teeth and treat any existing dental problems such as decay or gum disease. The next step is making your custom trays. After taking an impression of your teeth, she will use the molds to make the trays. The trays are usually ready in a few days, after which she will show you how to apply the special bleaching material to the trays. The whitening gel trays should be worn up to four hours a day for one to two weeks. At the end of this period, you will see maximum whitening results that are noticeably different.
After the whitening treatment, here are ways to maintain your gleaming white smile:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a whitening toothpaste.
- Floss daily.
- Avoid foods and drinks that stain your teeth, such as coffee, tea, wine, carrots, blueberries and other dark-colored foods.
- Schedule regular cleaning appointments with Dr. Niles.
- Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco.
Covering Unsightly Teeth
Sometimes, more than whitening services are required to improve your smile. You may then choose to completely cover one or several teeth using these methods.
A crown is a tooth-shaped covering that completely covers a damaged tooth. These are used when a tooth is damaged beyond repair. The crown looks like a perfect tooth and if you have major cracks or decayed teeth, this is the best solution. Crowns are used to restore and enhance teeth that are damaged, or to take the place of missing teeth which strengthens a tooth and dramatically improve a tooth’s appearance, shape and alignment.
Crowns may be used to:
Replace a large filling when there is little tooth structure remaining
Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
Restore a fractured tooth
Attach a bridge
Cover a dental implant
Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
Cover and protect a tooth that has had root canal treatment from breaking
A bridge is a method used by Dr. Niles to fill the space created by missing teeth. A bridge is one or more artificial teeth that are cemented into place using the teeth on either side for support, hence the name. This is an option for filling the space created by missing teeth, both functionally and cosmetically.
Do you have gaps between your teeth or are they are stained or misshapen? Dr. Niles can address aesthetic or restorative issues with less-than-perfect teeth with dental veneers. Veneers can close gaps between your teeth, cover dark stains, and make your teeth appear straight, even though their actual position has not changed. In a week or two, your smile will gleam as you pose for the camera!
The procedure for veneers is to create a covering that is placed over the outside of the tooth. Veneers are usually only applied to the part of the tooth that is visible when talking or smiling. As with whitening, your teeth are cleaned and any dental work is completed, then your teeth are prepared, impressions taken, and the teeth are given a temporary covering. In two to three weeks the veneers are back from the laboratory, the temporaries are removed and the veneers made of porcelain or pressed ceramic are bonded to the teeth. The advantage of veneers versus crowns is that little of the actual tooth material is removed, and the procedure is generally without pain. Veneers are recommended for teeth that have large fillings or little tooth structure to work with.
The Benefits of a Smile Makeover:
- Improves your appearance and enhances your smile
- You’ll look better in your senior photos
- Boosts self-confidence
- Erases minor flaws and imperfections
- Results last longer than the year you graduate from high school
Regardless of what treatment is needed to improve your smile, consult with Dr. Niles. You can contact her online or call (720) 744-0001 to make an appointment. Located in Niwot, Colorado at 136 2nd Ave. Suite 101, Dr. Niles provides dental care for the whole family and serves patients in Boulder, Longmont and other areas of northern Colorado.
Enjoy this milestone year of high school and take steps now to improve your smile for the senior photos that will go down in history!
Tags: Senior Pictures