Getting that golden smile to improve your looks

When we think about how to improve our looks, most of us think in terms of our skin – like evening out the skin tone, removing the wrinkles, eliminating the spots or getting a face lift. Probably, few of us actually think in terms of how our teeth can drastically help us look better and even younger.

Well, I for one never gave much thoughts to my teeth apart from wanting them to be whiter since they’re not crowded or too uneven. But at a workshop I attended last Saturday over at Orchard Scotts Dental, I realized that I my teeth has actually been inhibiting my smile and thus, affecting my looks too!  And that’s probably why I hardly show my teeth when I smile because I don’t like my eyes to wrinkle up too much with that facial expression.

Smiles makeover
And despite what they say that a smile can brighten up a look, I don’t always see it that way because for many people, I sometimes don’t even get to see their eyes when they smile!  See Jenny in the picture below? She’s a fellow blogger who also attended the workshop and you can see that her eyes are pretty small when she smiled in the first picture. However, look at the second. Noticed how her entire face looks so much brighter?  Okay, granted the different lightings but her eyes are bigger than before isn’t it?

Veneers to improve your smile
What happened there was that Jenny bravely volunteered to get a preview of her expected results with veneers using some sort of imaging technologies. It was a demo so I think what they did was to create a temporary mold or something and the result was just amazing.

Anyway, I learnt that a veneer is a thin layer of restorative material such as thin shells of porcelain or plastic bonded placed over a tooth surface, either to improve the aesthetics of a tooth, or to protect a damaged tooth surface. It generally covers only the front and the top of a tooth for the purpose of closing spaces between teeth, lenghten small or mishapen teeth or whiten stained or dark teeth. And once bonded, veneers are extremely strong and you can use them like your own teeth.

Invisible braces to achieve a beautiful smile
And if you have a case of crooked teeth and want them straightened but hate them to look like railway tracks with the metal braces, then you’ll likely be happy to know that you can now have invisible braces using Invisalign – a series of clear aligners that are custom-molded to gradually re-position your teeth.

I learnt that this is a new technology here but a million cases have been completed in US and Orchard Scotts Dental has done about 200 cases or so themselves. The reason why it’s gaining popularity is obvious. The convenience and ease of use since there are no unsightly metal bands and wires and best of all, most people won’t even notice you’re wearing braces. Cost wise, price starts from S$6500 and depending on the user, it can take 9 – 15 months to have your teeth straightened. For more details, check out their website.

The connection between your teeth and your health
The workshop was an eye opener for me because I don’t watch those makeover programs on TV and have no idea what cosmetic dentistry can achieve. I kept thinking that I probably can take a few years off my actual age if only I could have them whitened but never realized that I could actually do more. Of course cost is an issue but besides the aesthetics, having your teeth straightened or improving your bite can actually improve your health condition. Say if you’re someone constantly getting headaches, migraines, sinus, stiff neck and you haven’t been able to find out the cause or diagnose the problem, then you might want to think about having your teeth checked. Yes! All these fall under neuromuscular dentistry, a branch of dentistry that considers the physiologic aspects of head and neck symptoms. Interesting isn’t it?

What’s in a golden smile
Now back to the million buck question. What is in a golden smile? Well, to achieve a golden smile, you need to consider your lips, gum and teeth. The curve of your teeth should follow your lower lips and you should show a nice set of teeth but just a nice hint of your gum. Think your favorite Hollywood celebrities! Yes, most of them have had work done to their teeth. No wonder their smiles are all the same to me!

So do you have a beautiful set of teeth? And any of you had any cosmetic works done on them so far? Me? I’m just a polish and fill gal. I’m scared of dentists and hate going to them. But after this workshop and meeting the friendly dentists, Dr Ronnie Yap and Dr Jerry Lim, I seem to have a change of mind though.

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  1. Sparklewolfie says

    I am scared of dentist too!!

    But my older sister had Invisalign done. It was very convenient and your teeth can be cleaned like normal, unlike metal braces which can get food stuck in them. She often wanted to chew on people when she had to switch to the next set of Invisalign braces that are tighter, but other than that it was very easy for her. I am sure that getting braces tightened gives the same feeling on your teeth, so Invisalign still seems like the better option to me! Only problem (not counting the higher cost) is that if your teeth problems are too severe, Invisalign cannot correct it and you would have to get metal brace anyway :(

    • sesame says

      Oh your sis had Invisalign? But I didn’t know that they cannot correct severe cases. I was under the impression that it’s all achievable and I should have asked the dentist about it.

  2. Sparklewolfie says

    I think it is the cases that require rubber banding in metal braces that cannot be corrected with Invisalign. But my sister got hers about 4 years ago, and maybe they have improved since then :3 Just some things like crossbite I am not sure how they could correct with just retainers over your teeth?

    • sesame says

      I actually found it quite amazing cos it just looks like a plastic shield to me. The wonders of technology…Anyway I didn’t even realized that there are metal braces that were fitted behind the teeth for those who are concerned with aesthetics in the past. Apparently that is expensive.

  3. Sparklewolfie says

    Yea the metal keeps the plastic part in place, along with the two buttons on the front teeth

    The metal has to stay forever, but you cannot actually see it :3

  4. Yiting says

    I too was told by my orothodontist that my case was too severe fir invisalign but quite an easy case if I use metal or ceramic braces. I chose to do ceramics as he said that the treatment time difference between ceramics and metal was negligable. It was much more asthetically pleasing to me, ppl might be able to tell that you have braces on but it’s not as in your face as metal.

    I always kind of felt that teeth after braces looked too perfect… Frowns.

    • sesame says

      I see…so there is a limitation. But why you don’t like your teeth looking perfect…haha…maybe you were used to your teeth before?

  5. zhenling says

    there is such a thing as too perfect you know. my mum was born with a perfect set of teeth. not only were they straight, they were symmetrical. so much so people asked her if they were dentures!

    • sesame says

      Too fake looking? Hmm…perhaps so cos when I look at the celebrities, their smiles all look the same to me.

  6. Yiting says

    yeap.. dont like them looking too perfect, like what zhenling says, too perfect and they’ll look too good to be true.

    i was happy with my teeth prior to braces as i had a very slightly protruding canine, it wasnt unsightly but it became some sort of a signature of my smile. in a sense it looked more “normal”

    • sesame says

      Actually I know of some people with crooked teeth but look very cute. Like some of the Japanese girls.

  7. rachel says

    is orchard scotts dental the only place to offer invisible braces? i actually suffer from receding gums really badly and was told to try braces because of my overcrowding and misalignment. but my fear of dentist is so great that despite being adult age, i still run out of dental rooms and/or throw up right there and then. awfully embarrassing. not sure how to curb this phobia and go for my braces!

    • sesame says

      No, I think there are other dental clinics out there that offers too. Since you’re afraid of dentists, then I suggest you check around just to see which is comfortable for you. The dentists at Orchard Scotts Dental are pretty friendly and easy going.

    • sesame says

      Oh forgot to add that Orchard Scotts Dental have laughing gas in their treatment rooms to help patients relax…maybe that will help you.

  8. Suz says

    I hate dentists!!! I need to go…it’s been more than half a year *yikes*…just reminded me to make an appointment!! Thanks

    Thank god my teeth are perfectly fine..I just need to stop grinding my teeth at night. So my plan this week is to invest in mouth guard. I also tend to buy whitening strips and whiten my teeth…they work really well…*not costly*

    • sesame says

      Good that you’re planning to protect your teeth with the mouth guard cos I understand that long term grinding will affect the bit or even shortened the teeth.

  9. rachel says

    thanks sesame for replying. i checked around online for other dentists who offer invisalign and the prices are really alot higher than conventional braces. i was expecting at most $1000 more 😡

    • sesame says

      It definitely cost more but I’m not so sure of the range. However, I was told because it’s due to the convenience, ease of use and aethetics.

  10. Amarise says

    I never liked going to the dentist, pretty much a wimp of any kind of pain. Though I have found that there are some awesome dentists who take out the fear from it. All I can say is be sure to go as soon as you can to fix your teeth problems. It will only end up hurting worse or causing permanent damages to your nerves.

    On a side note, I’m in the process of getting lingual braces myself. They are just like the metal and ceramic braces except they are placed behind the teeth. That’s true about the Invisalign, they do not work for crowded teeth and some out of place bites.

    • sesame says

      Oh…so they’re called lingual braces! Are they costly for you cos I was told they’re expensive.

  11. Amarise says

    They are…for upper and bottom braces, together they round up to $8,000. The cool thing is that even if your insurance doesn’t help cover some of the cost, many offices have no interest payment plans. Heh, like paying car payments without the interest. Fortunately my dental insurance will help out with most of it.

    I figured it’s worth the investment since I have been experiencing sore teeth and speech problems as my teeth have been crowding much more.

    • sesame says

      Wow, that’s steep but good thing you get coverage from your dental insurance! Hmm…we don’t get that kind of generous benefits here though.

  12. miss kim says

    hi, i have a question. in fact i had brace for 2years.but a bit of my teeth change like before, I’m foreiner. i heard there is Invisalign lite . invisalign too expensive. is there any promotion if i pay in cash and Invisalign lite

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