How General Dentistry Can Improve Your Smile

Family with perfect teeth and smiles
A portrait of a happy young couple giving their children piggyback rides outside.

Do you make a great first impression? If you feel like something’s holding you back, it might just be your smile! According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, nearly half of all US adults believe a smile is the most memorable part of any first impression.

This, of course, is why it’s so important to make the most of those pearly whites. If you feel insecure about your teeth, you’re less likely to show off the beautiful smile that those around you love to see.

General dentistry is the best way to maintain your smile, making your general dentist a great partner for the long-term! If you’re not sure why those trips to the dentist are so valuable, let’s take a look at how dentists help maintain and enhance your smile.

Regular Cleanings

Professional cleanings are one of the most common benefits of dentistry. After all, while it’s crucial for you to take good care of your dental health at home, it’s impossible for you to remove built-up plaque and tartar on your own.

That’s where cleanings come in. To ensure good oral hygiene, the American Dental Association recommends that all patients visit a dentist at least twice a year—though some patients may need to come in more often. Talk to your dentist to get a recommendation on the frequency of your cleanings.

Oral Health Education

Brushing and flossing may seem like simple tasks, but you’d be surprised how many people do them wrong—or who don’t do them at all! From the wrong toothbrush size or hardness to rush jobs and incorrect angles. It’s easy to make mistakes that can cause plaque buildup and decay.

During your dental visit, a general dentist can provide recommendations and education on proper brushing and flossing habits. In many cases, they may be able to alert you when you’re making common brushing mistakes, such as causing your gums to recede by brushing too hard on one side of your mouth.

Digital X-Rays and Health Screenings

During your biannual check-ins, there are two ways a general dentist can get a deeper look at your smile.

The first is a basic oral health screening. With years of expertise under their belts, our dentists can check for signs of receding gums, cavities, cancer, and other abnormalities that you might not notice on your own.

The second is digital X-rays. These images provide vital insights into what’s going on behind the surface of your teeth, and they can help a dental team uncover signs of decay that are happening behind the scenes. In addition, these images are stored for future reference to help us track your oral health over time.

Preventative Treatments

Beyond your cleaning and health screening, our team can also perform preventative treatments to help you maintain those pearly whites.

Fluoride treatments, for example, can help strengthen your tooth enamel and protect your smile. These treatments are great for patients of all ages, and we’ll often do them during your normal dental check-ups.

Another common option for preventative care is dental sealants. Sealants are thin coatings that can cover areas of your mouth that are difficult to brush and floss. For most of us, this means those tricky back molars and wisdom teeth!

These sealants help prevent the development of decay and infection. Even better, they last for years, meaning your smile will be protected for the long run.

Fillings, Inlays, and Onlays

If your check-up and X-rays indicate the presence of tooth decay, you’ll need to take steps to restore your dental health.

Fortunately, this is an easy task for your general dentist! Fillings are the most common type of dental restoration. During the filling process, your dentist will remove the decayed tooth structure and replace it with a filling material.

For extensive decay, you may need an inlay or onlay. This can happen when the cavity is too large for a small filling.

Inlays are solid pieces of filling material made to fit the shape of the cavity. Once the cavity is removed, your dentist will insert the inlay. Onlays are similar, except that these cover the cusp, or side, of the tooth.

Crowns and Bridges

If one of your teeth is damaged or missing, you might feel inclined to hide your smile. With general dentistry, you don’t have to!

A dental crown is a great option to help improve your smile. Dental crowns can act as a “cap” on a damaged tooth, making it appear as if your natural tooth is still intact. Even better, today’s advanced options can match the color of your teeth, making it hard to tell the difference between the crown and your tooth itself.

If multiple teeth are affected, a dentist can also give you what’s known as a dental bridge. As the name suggests, bridges are a line of artificial teeth that literally bridge the gap between one or more damaged or missing teeth. This can help restore the function of your teeth and the beauty of your smile.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is the most common cosmetic procedure a general dentist will offer. When you stress over discolored or stained teeth, whitening can help brighten your smile and remove your insecurity.

Though it’s possible to find over-the-counter whitening treatments, your dental team can offer safer and more effective procedures. Take-home whitening treatments from your dentist are custom-made and easy to use, so there’s no reason not to get started!

Cosmetic and Medical Recommendations

As needed, a general dentist can help enhance your smile by making recommendations according to your goals.

For example, if you’re looking for cosmetic dentistry to transform your smile, asking your general dentist is a great way to go. Because they’ll be familiar with your dental health, they’ll be able to offer helpful recommendations to help you achieve the look you want.

The same is true when you need periodontal services. Going to the dentist can help you understand your options for your care, as well as the list of treatments and procedures that can make a difference for your smile.

Schedule a General Dentistry Visit

As you can see, general dentistry can be a huge help when you’re trying to improve the quality of your smile. From regular check-ups to restorative procedures to recommendations, your general dentist is the first person you should reach out to!

If you’re looking for better ways to maintain your smile, our team is happy to work with you. Here at Rinaldi Dental Arts, we’re the trusted dental resource for patients throughout the area. To learn more about how Dr. Rinaldi and his team can help, contact us today or schedule an appointment.