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IT ALL COMES BACK TO TEETH WHAT DOES YOUR SMILE HAVE TO DO WITH VALENTINE’S DAY?
THE GOOD: SMILES MAKE YOU MORE ATTRACTIVE It might be hard to believe, but there’s actually a big connection between your teeth and your romantic life beyond whether you’re brushing enough to be kissable. Humans are hard-wired to find certain traits attractive, and a straight, white smile is one of the biggest turn-ons there is. I’m serious! Studies show that people with beautiful smiles (specifically evenly spaced, white teeth) are considered more attractive and dateable. It’s not just the dating world that cares about your teeth, either. In another American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) study, people were asked to look at smiling photos of others and guess their IQ and level of success at work based on their appearance. People with straight white teeth were consistently thought to have higher IQs and be more successful than people with crooked smiles — even if the photos were actually of the same person, and the only difference was an added set of pearly whites! One British study conducted by researchers at the Universities of Leeds and Central Lancashire found such a big difference in attraction that in its reporting on the findings, The Daily Mail called teeth "the human equivalent of a peacock’s tail.” On our side of the pond, a Match.com poll of 5,000 people revealed that a beautiful smile was seen as the most attractive quality someone could have, and AACD research has found that 96% of people think an attractive smile makes them more appealing when it comes to romance.
THE BAD: THE DENTAL SECRET ON KISSING Did you know that cavities and gum disease could be shared through kissing? Cavities and gum disease are both caused by bacteria. And when you kiss, you transfer these bacteria through saliva. That means that you and your significant other can give each other not only cavities, but also gum disease. Odds are you’ve never heard this secret about kissing. I hadn’t either until I went to dental school, but it certainly stuck with me. Before you cancel your romantic plans, though, I’m not saying don’t smooch on Feb. 14! You might just want to pay a little extra attention to your teeth in the lead-up. Practicing good oral hygiene like daily flossing and brushing can help reduce plaque and bacteria buildup. Eating fewer fermentable carbohydrates, such as bread, pasta, and desserts, and consuming fewer acidic foods, like coffee and wine, will decrease cavities, too. Rinsing your mouth with water after eating anything will always help decrease the sugars and the acid that sit on the teeth, which are the main contributors to why bacteria can cause cavities. All of these things may be a bummer if you weren’t born with beautiful, straight teeth or have developed problems over time. The good news is that anyone can have a gorgeous smile nowadays with recent advancements in dental cosmetic procedures. If you’re pretty happy with your teeth except for the color, do not underestimate the power of professional teeth whitening to really make your smile POP! If you
would like to straighten your teeth, then Invisalign or braces are an option. From limited treatment to make your smile prettier to comprehensive treatment to make your bite more functional, orthodontic treatment is a great choice to change the appearance and function of your smile. If chipped teeth are your nemesis, then consider composite bonding for small chips. These are very conservative, can usually be done in one visit, and have the ability to really change your smile. If broken or worn teeth have been a concern, then porcelain veneers, onlays, and crowns are an option. Just make sure to address the root cause of why the teeth broke or wore down in the first place, or they are likely to break again. If a tooth broke during a sports injury, please consider using a sports mouthguard. If the teeth are breaking because of teeth grinding, then a bite analysis is recommended to figure out how to avoid breaking the newly fixed tooth again in the future. Call our office for an appointment, or if you are already coming to see us, let us know if you have any concerns. We want to make sure your smile is Certified KISSABLE, ready for Valentine’s Day — and every day!
To your great smiles and better health,
–Dr. Michelle Wedd le
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