Despite the fact that everyone is wearing masks that cover up our smiles, many people are using this time to take care of their mouths.  Dentists across the country have reported that they are exceptionally busy.  Part of this may be attributed to people having more time on their hands, they are not going on vacation, and they are working from home.

People are using this extra time to get healthy- from walking to working out to taking care of their teeth. Many are using Zoom to speak to their families and friends.  In doing so, they are seeing themselves on screen, and are more aware of their smiles and their appearance.

So what can be done to improve the look of your teeth? Tooth whitening with gels can be accomplished in two ways: Zoom whitening, or custom-fitted trays.

Zoom whitening – often done for an event or meeting – is accomplished in a dentist’s office in about 90 minutes using a thick liquid and laser-like light to accelerate the process.  Shade changes can be impressive depending on the age of the patient and tooth structure. When the treatment is completed, it is recommended that the patient use trays with a carbamide peroxide gel 15-20 minutes once or twice a month to maintain the new color.

The same trays can be used without the Zoom procedure to acquire a whiter smile but they need to be used much more frequently and longer to achieve the “Zoom” look.

Another option is veneers or crowns to brighten and/or change the appearance of the front teeth. Whether used in the upper or lower arch, they can make chipped, cracked, broken or discolored teeth look like new or close to it as they cover existing teeth or roots.  Requiring just two appointments, they can make a huge difference, creating a youthful and healthy smile.

Composite bonding, although not quite as resilient, also can change tooth appearance in just one visit to the dentist. The material is applied to the tooth or where part of the tooth is missing to give the tooth an improved appearance and function.

With these options, dentistry can make a huge improvement to a smile. And now that we have more time to ourselves, we can make use of these techniques to improve the quality and appearance of our teeth so that when we are on our computers, we have a Zoom smile on the Zoom app.