How To Get A Better Smile According to Experts

We all want that million-dollar smile, but maybe you're not sure just exactly what products to use or what procedures to get. Renowned New York Dentist Dr. Husam Almunajed of Empire Dental Aesthetics dishes to Haute Beauty about how to get a better, healthier smile and his most requested procedures for that perfect smile.

Haute Beauty: What procedures do you recommend for a better smile?

Dr. Husam Almunajed: Everyone is different and we give each person a custom plan to achieve the best smile that looks good, functions well, and is maintainable.  There are many recommended procedures, but the best suggestion can only be given after a comprehensive evaluation that includes a physical inspection of the mouth, teeth, gums, jaw joints and other support structures. May it be your typical filling, crown, veneers, or implant, it’s not necessarily the procedure, but more importantly how the dental treatment works in your smile frame and your face.  Many times at our office, a patient requests to have a smile makeover and is prepared to invest in a whole mouthful of veneers, when they only need the shaping of the gums that provides the outcome they desire. You always hear people wanting that perfect smile, and we educate our patients that the perfect smile is one that complements and adds beauty or harmony to the individual’s face. This is accomplished by teeth position and color, along with healthy gums.  Dark, stained teeth, swollen gums or chipped worn teeth are all signs of not living a healthy life.  A clean, healthy, beautiful smile should be your best feature.  It speaks volumes about self-confidence, health and gives each person a certain character.

HB: Are there any at-home products patients should use for healthier teeth?

Dr. HA: In addition to routine dental visits to keep you on top of your oral health, a daily routine of using the proper products will do wonders.  The market is full of products, and it can be quite confusing to select the proper product.  I recommend my patients to alternate their types of toothpaste.  While whitening kinds of toothpaste have silica in them to scrub away stains and prevent yellowing, there is some unresolved controversy about the damage they may cause to the enamel. To get the maximum stain removal effect safely, alternate the whitening paste every other day with a non-abrasive high fluoride paste. Crest Pro-Health is great because it has one of the highest amounts of stannous fluoride in an over-the-counter toothpaste. A common question we get is “Should I get an electric toothbrush?”  The important thing is to brush thoroughly, and this can be done well with either a manual or electric toothbrush. However, the majority of patients don’t know how to properly brush with a manual brush, and more importantly, do not brush for the full two minutes required.  Improper brushing can lead to plaque buildup, swollen gums, cavities and overall poor oral health. Electronic toothbrushes remove plaque and get into hard-to-reach areas like in between teeth and under the gums to ensure a healthy mouth.

HB: What are your go-to tips for maintaining healthy gums?

Dr. HA: As much as we all hate doing it, flossing before bedtime is crucial for a thorough at-home cleaning regimen.  This ensures there is nothing “stuck” in-between your teeth and takes away any irritation that will reduce the inflammation in the gums.  Rinsing with an alcohol-free mouthwash as the last step in your home care will rinse away any remaining residue and result in that feel-good cleaning sensation.

HB: What are your most requested dental procedures?

Dr. HA: All things beauty are becoming more popular due to the rise in popularity of social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. People are hyper-aware of the way they look, not to mention them constantly being judged or judging themselves, which has led to increased demand in all aesthetic procedures. Our office has expertise in cosmetic dentistry, thus people come to us to rejuvenate their smile, whether that means porcelain veneers, crowns, bonding or whitening. The easiest and quickest way to brighten a smile is an in-office whitening procedure combined with the use of custom-made trays.  In office whitening is relatively quick and can be done with instantaneous results. Custom whitening trays can then be worn at home prior to the event to maximize the whitening effect. We take a unique approach to making over or rehabilitating our patients’ smiles.  When designing our dental restorations, restoring balance within the face is what I seek for all of my patients. When I meet with them, I carefully review all the elements of the face, and how they can work harmoniously to achieve the most natural smile.  Any good work, whether plastic surgery or cosmetic dentistry, everyone has their aesthetic preference, but to me, good work goes unnoticed.  People may say you look great, but they can’t put their finger on exactly what you had done, that's the goal.