ABCs for good health

With the New Year just around the corner, people are gearing up for 2010 with new resolutions.

Lose weight. Exercise more. Stop smoking.

While the common underlying theme of most New Year's resolutions is health-related, many tend to forget about the basics of maintaining good health through regular visits to the doctor. Even more so, we forgo the regular visits to the dentist.

"People overlook the importance of good dental health. Not only do you prevent cavities, gum disease and tooth decay in the process, but you also enjoy the reward of a brighter, healthier smile. Everyone is concerned with changing the way they look and feel for the New Year, and having a healthy, younger looking smile can really take years off your face," explains Dr. Sherri Worth, whose Southern California-based practice performs an array of dental procedures including general dentistry, dental implants, laser dentistry, full mouth reconstruction, veneers, teeth whitening, smile makeovers and Invisalign®.

Below are points from Dr. Worth to give you something to sink your teeth into for the New Year:

White by Midnight

If you're looking to start early and get a brighter smile in time for your New Year's fete, do a quick Zoom! teeth whitening treatment one week before. I've even had patients come into my office the morning of as the procedure takes only an hour. It's a great way to get a jumpstart on practicing better dental care in the New Year.

Brace yourself

Orthodontia is often an important first step in restoring a smile. Unfortunately, a key misconception among patients is that straight teeth will translate into their desired smile. The issue people overlook is that you have the same teeth in a different position. The gums, color, shape and length of the teeth are not influenced by correct alignment. Some of the finishing touches such as laser dentistry or bleaching can be accomplished in one sitting. Other procedures like veneers or full-mouth reconstruction take a bit longer. Patients are sometimes hesitant to commit to veneers having heard the teeth are drilled. I only remove about .5 millimeters--but this technique has a stout learning curve. My veneers are natural looking. It's so important for the patient to be well-informed not only about the procedures under consideration, but the practitioner's experience as well.

Fixing a gummy smile

There are often a lot of healthy teeth hiding underneath a gummy smile. I use a soft-tissue laser to reshape the gums and expose more of the teeth underneath. Laser crown lengthening is a great procedure for patients born with excess gum tissue, as well as teens who have just had their braces removed. It doesn't require local anesthesia and is a popular adjunct procedure to veneers, as it enhances gum symmetry to provide the final finishing touches to a smile makeover.

SOURCE Dr. Sherri Worth, DDS


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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