Smiling is big business. Huge, in fact. According to market research analysts Mintel, the cosmetic dental care market is worth £2.4 billion, up 73 per cent from 2012. And experts believe there’s a simple reason for the sudden splurge: it’s one of the most subtle but smart ways to freshen your look. ‘Smile tweaking… is becoming part of my clients’ overall grooming routines, as women realise the anti-ageing beauty benefits of improving a little bit here and there.’
With all the money we’re spending on our smiles, it’s perhaps no surprise that we Brits are finally shaking off our reputation for bad teeth. In fact, a survey… awarded the prize of best celebrity smile to the Duchess of Cambridge, ahead of Julia Roberts, Beyoncé and Jessica Alba. ‘Kate’s smile is bright and beaming…but her teeth have natural variation in length, compared to spirit-level straight veneers.’
But while whiter, straighter teeth have become an anti-ageing no-brainer, the latest trends in dentistry are more confusing. Research has suggested flossing isn’t as effective as we thought, and a full set of veneers can set you back the price of an Hermès Birkin bag. Instead of these tried and tested methods, experts tell us that these days it’s about embracing a host of tweakments designed to benefit your overall ‘smile aesthetic’…
Get rid of a gummy smile with laser contouring
Yes, we know this sounds a rather unappetising mouthful. But laser contouring – cutting away excess gum tissue – is fast becoming an easy in-and-out tweak for those who feel their smile shows too much pink. ‘For some women, a gummy smile leaves them so self-conscious that they rarely smile in photographs…The laser allows us to remove a millimetre or so of gum with ultimate precision for a better proportioned look. It’s also used to draw in an arch shape, which is considered more aesthetically pleasing.’ And the pain? ‘Discomfort is minimal and in some cases patients don’t even need a local anaesthetic.
Don’t just bleach: banish blemishes
Even skin tone is considered a measure of youth, and the same is true of teeth. ‘As we age…teeth can get what’s called fluorosis – a condition that leaves white spots on individual teeth, caused by high levels of fluoride in the water, most common in hard-water areas. Peroxide will lift the overall shade of your teeth, but it can’t get rid of individual white spots as they’re caused by decalcification, not staining.’
A cutting-edge whitening treatment called Icon can help blitz those tell-tale white spots. It works by applying a special prepping gel, which is left on the tooth for 20 minutes, followed by a resin solution that penetrates the surface of the tooth to fill the white spot and restore and even the shade…
If you’re looking for peroxide-free teeth whitening, try Billion Dollar Smile’s LED Light Kit, £40. This peroxide-free kit includes a tray, whitening gel, syringes and an LED light to activate the formula.
Smile ‘sculpting’ is on the rise
Apparently, it’s not just teeth that need attention if you’re looking for the perfect smile. ‘I am increasingly referring patients to cosmetic doctors for mild facial resculpting…A small amount of Botox in the jaw can reduce pronounced muscles caused by teeth grinding, and so create a softer jawline.’
Some cosmetic dentist london and orthodontists now administer Botox…
Is your smile wide enough?
Say what? ‘With a narrow smile, the back teeth get lost….This creates a dark void, which isn’t as flattering or youthful. That’s why my clients have started requesting a more expansive smile like Angelina Jolie or Julia Roberts. Both have a perfect example of a wide smile, where you can see the backs of their teeth when they grin.’
If you’re looking to expand your smile, new nuances in brace technology, including ‘arch expansion’ (widening the upper jaw so the top and bottom teeth fit together better), can help. ‘Narrow smiles can easily be corrected now with clear aligners…
Arch expansion aligners can be fitted by any registered Invisalign London doctor. They cost £2,500 to £3,200 and the results take three to six months. But the investment might well be worth it. Broadening your smile has big anti-ageing benefits for your entire face, by filling out sunken cheekbones and improving the shape of the jawline. ‘As we age…skin loses elasticity, creating a sunken appearance to the face. By expanding the arches [arrangement] of the teeth with aligners like Invisalign, you can recreate a fuller, firmer-looking face. It also has a bonus effect of lifting the mouth.’
Edge bonding gives veneer-smooth lines
One advantage of porcelain veneers London– wafer-thin materials bonded to teeth – is the marble smooth edges they provide. Yet for natural teeth that have incurred wear and tear, edge bonding is the perfect quick fix. Using the same material used to mimic tooth enamel in fillings, dentists are filling chips, reducing small gaps, straightening edges and even lengthening teeth. ‘Edge bonding is ideal for clients who have typically straight teeth but the edges are a little worn or chipped from grinding or ageing..
Bag a brainy toothbrush
Research suggests that up to 80 per cent of us are either brushing too aggressively, not brushing long enough, or not hitting all the right places – even with an electric toothbrush. That’s why Oral-B has launched its brainiest brush yet: the new Genius 9000 electric toothbrush. It’s chic too, in limited-edition Rose Gold,£99. Download the Oral-B app, and the Genius syncs to your smartphone camera for individual feedback as you brush. Guiding you through the six key zones in the mouth, it highlights where you’ve missed and how long you should spend on to each one. Meanwhile, position technology sensors light up whenever you pressing too hard….read more
For any question on cosmetic dentistry London, contact Dr Firas Daoudi Specialist dentist