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  • Anderson Family Dental

Can Cosmetic Dentistry Give You a Dream Smile by Christmas?

Can you believe it’s November already? The holidays are almost here, and that means family get-togethers, celebrations, and probably lots of pictures. If you don’t feel confident in your smile, you might dread the idea of showing your teeth in family photos. Don’t fret! Whether you have a few days or several months, we’ve got plenty of cosmetic dentistry options for every timeline.

woman pointing to beautiful teeth


Brightening your teeth is one of the quickest and easiest ways to feel more confident in your smile. However, not just any old over-the-counter whitening product will work to give you the kind of glowing smile you could have. In fact, many over-the-counter whitening solutions may not be the best for your dental health! Many whitening toothpastes use highly abrasive agents to scrape away stains. Using those abrasives regularly can damage your gums and possibly even wear away some enamel! 


Removing stains may be as easy as getting your routine dental cleaning. Your dental hygienist will remove plaque and tartar buildup that can irritate your gums and make your teeth look dingy. Once these deposits are removed, your hygienist will also polish the teeth, removing surface stains bringing out the luster and shine from your pearly whites. If it’s been a while, you might be pleasantly surprised at how much better your teeth look after a cleaning!


However, if you’re looking for a more profound change, professional tooth whitening is the way to go. More than just removing surface stains, professional teeth whitening can change the shade of your teeth. While everyone’s teeth are different, most people can expect their teeth to look at least a few shades whiter afterward!

There are two main ways to whiten your teeth professionally. For patients in a hurry, in-office teeth whitening will give you whiter teeth in just a couple of hours! It’s an awesome option for people who need a whiter smile for the holidays or family photos and maybe don’t have the time to wait for trays. 

However, in-office tooth whitening isn’t perfect for everyone. That’s why we can also fabricate custom whitening trays. We’ll supply you with professional whitening gel, which you’ll apply at home. At-home whitening trays can take around two weeks for your best shade, so don’t wait until the last minute! Not every cosmetic dentistry concern can be solved with whitening, but it’s frequently a great first step that can be used in combination with other treatments.


For patients who need more than a shade change, a cosmetic dentist has the technical and artistic skills to craft your dream smile. But keep in mind, many of these treatments happen in phases, and may take several weeks to complete. If you’re hoping to give yourself the gift of a killer grin for the holidays, you may need to start soon!


Porcelain veneers are thin shells that cover the front surface of a tooth. Typically, they’re used for a few teeth in the smile zone, which is the teeth that show when you smile. They’re often used in combination with other restorative dentistry like crowns, bridges, or dental implants, to create a uniform look across all the front teeth.

Veneers are a great option for:

  • patients with developmental enamel problems like discoloration or uneven texture

  • teeth that are worn down or look discolored because they too thin 

  • undersized or misshapen teeth

  • some types of damage like chronic chipping

Porcelain veneers take some time, as the final restorations have to be crafted in a lab. In some cases, composite resin (the material used in fillings) can be used to create “chairside” veneers. This option can be done in just one sitting but won’t have the same shine or natural appearance as porcelain. They can also stain over time (which porcelain won’t) and need to be replaced or adjusted more often.


Your gums create the frame for your teeth. Gums that are inflamed, overgrown, or uneven can detract from even the most beautiful set of teeth. First things first, make sure your gums are as healthy as possible by getting regular cleanings and keeping up with your flossing and brushing at home. Not only will this help prevent gum disease; it’ll also help your smile look healthy and beautiful!

If your gums are healthy but uneven, overgrown due to medications or medical conditions, or you have a gummy smile, gum contouring is a great cosmetic dentistry option. Thanks to the unique type of tissue in the gums, we can use advanced techniques to reshape and reduce the size of the tissue to give you a more ideal tooth-to-gums ratio. This can often be coupled with other treatments like veneers or crowns to help your teeth appear larger in a process known as crown lengthening. It can take a little time for the gums to heal, usually about a week or two.


Another way to address a gummy smile is Botox. By preventing your upper lip from drawing up too high when you smile, we can help reduce how much of an appearance your gums make. This also takes a little time, a couple of weeks, to be effective. The great thing is it’s reversible! 

Your smile isn’t just about your teeth! Your gums, lips, cheeks, and eyes all get involved in a genuine smile. Lucky for you, Dr. Anderson can provide a range of esthetic treatments including Botox and dermal fillers to help improve the appearance of your entire smile!


Cosmetic dentistry isn’t always a quick fix. If your smile has complex needs or you’re looking for more than just surface changes, you might want to set your smile goals for next Christmas.


The best outcomes for any cosmetic dental treatment start with a strong foundation. Proper alignment of your teeth, including a balanced and healthy bite, can protect your teeth from damage and prevent strain and injury to the jaw joint. By relieving areas where the teeth hit each other too hard and could damage restorations like veneers, it also means your cosmetic dentistry treatments will last longer! 

Straightening your teeth with clear aligners may take a few months to about a year, depending on your specific needs. Not every patient is a great candidate for Invisalign or SureSmile, but clear aligners are a great option for most people.


A fully comprehensive approach to your smile means addressing every aspect of your dental health. Decayed, broken, cracked, worn-down, and missing teeth can all leave you wanting to hide your smile. For patients with complex dental health needs, components of cosmetic dentistry can be a key part of rebuilding your complete oral health. 

Repairing damaged, decayed, or failing teeth may involve porcelain crowns and dental bridges. Whether you’re missing one, several, or all your teeth, dental implants can be an amazing solution. Implants look and feel just like natural teeth, with amazing strength and stability. 

By combining functional restorations with esthetic considerations, your restoration dentist Dr. Anderson can address every aspect of your oral health so you can smile with confidence in every situation! Call our office to schedule a cosmetic dentistry consultation in Winter Park, FL!


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