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There’s no question that our smiles are getting brighter and straighter as the years go on. People are more aware of the importance of good dental care, and if all else fails, there are apps and phone filters to help give you the perfect grin. If you’re a stickler for honesty and want your teeth to be as perfect in real life as they look on social media, here are five ways to get it done.

Whiter Pearly Whites

If you’ve been admiring your favorite celebrities and their spectacular smiles, you need to know they’ve all had a little help. Professional teeth whitening is the most common cosmetic dental procedure, which is why you see a whole generation of young adults with dazzling grins. In essence, it involves bleaching the teeth to remove stains and natural yellowness. Professional teeth whitening is estimated to last around three years, although this can vary greatly depending on whether you smoke, drink loads of coffee, or are fond of red wine.

Brush Better

How long do you take to brush your teeth? The golden rule is, you should always brush for at least two minutes. However, many people don’t even come close. Research shows that this is the minimum length of time needed to remove plaque, food debris, and bacteria from your teeth, gums, and tongue. If you aren’t sure whether you’re brushing for long enough, try timing yourself. Use your phone, invest in an egg timer, or choose a song you love and listen as you brush. There are also apps and electric toothbrushes on the market that are designed to help you clean more effectively.

Teeth Shaping

Another cosmetic procedure which is rising in popularity is teeth shaping. Also known as cosmetic contouring or enameloplasty, this procedure is conducted with an electric device that is used to contour your teeth and create a more even and aesthetically appealing look. Keep in mind, your dentist will be removing some enamel to achieve the desired look. So, you need to be careful to protect what remains if you choose this procedure.

Composite Bonding

If you have cracked, discolored, or damaged teeth that you would like to repair without breaking the bank, ask about composite bonding. It’s a more affordable option than porcelain veneers to correct the appearance of teeth. Your dentist will remove the decayed or damaged area with a drill and use composite to return it to its natural shape. The newly repaired tooth will be polished to blend in perfectly with the rest.

Regular Dental Visits

When was the last time you visited the dentist? If it’s been more than two years, then it’s time to find a good dentist and make an appointment. Even if your teeth look and feel fine, it’s recommended that you visit every six months for a check-up and a clean. You can push it to two years, but never beyond that. Even if you are fastidious about flossing and brushing, you can still get little pockets of plaque in hard to reach spots. With tooth decay linked to medical issues such as heart disease, the benefits of keeping your mouth healthy outweigh the short-lived discomfort.

Having a mouthful of pearly whites can give you an extra boost of confidence, so take the time to care properly for your teeth and watch as both your physical and mental health start to improve.