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Posts for tag: smile

By Dr. Bill Kuttler, DDS
February 26, 2018
Tags: smile   February  

It’s February – the month for lovers.  It’s also Dental Health Month which is essentially focused on the awesome goal of helping children have healthier and more comfortable mouths.  It’s also American Heart Month, Black History Month, and the National Organ Donation Event is on Valentine’s Day.  For a great many people I know, the most important part of February is that it is the SHORTEST month of the year – the one they celebrate when it’s over since that signals that spring is coming....

So no matter how you view it, there’s actually a lot going on in this month beyond simply waiting for it to be over!  While I don’t ski or do other active outdoor winter activities, I happen to LOVE winter.  When I looked out this morning to see 4" of fresh snow, I truly loved it.  I think it is awesomely beautiful.  And I still felt that way after spending two or more hours this morning plowing the road for the subdivision I live in and shoveling my driveway (and I still have half of that to go...!)

Which leads me back to that word “love”.  The Webster’s dictionary I have sitting here offers many definitions of the word, and the one that I like the most is also most fitting for what I’m writing about: “Warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion”.  That’s how I like to see people feeling about their smile – enthusiastic about it, devoted to caring for it and keeping it healthy and attractive, and being attached to it in a very positive way.

Sadly, my experience is that many people either aren’t happy with their smile or want it changed in some way or other...but don’t make the commitment to do so.  How many people do you know that you never see smile?  Or whenever they do, they have their hands in front of their mouths so you can’t see their actual smile.

The reason I’m asking this question in February – the month of lovers – is that I personally believe that people need to feel good about themselves and love themselves before they can truly love others.  Which leads me to believe that before they can form honest connections with another, they need to have that connection with themselves.

Of course we can fake out other people and work around the things that we don’t like about ourselves, but we are most authentically ourselves when we’re happy with who we really are.  We can more effectively share our joy with others when our smile shines through.  I also believe that lots of the beauty of a smile comes from within each of us – we don’t need to have perfect teeth to have a beautiful smile.  But for some people they really want to have a beautiful smile so it truly represents who they feel they are.  And that’s awesome.

My experience in helping people get that smile is that what each person expects or wants is very different while almost everyone is reluctant to ask us about it because they are afraid of what it will cost.  While some situations do require very extensive treatment that involves a substantial investment of time, money, and energy, some desires are easily fulfilled.  I treated someone last week who was convinced that his problem was going to require several thousand dollars to resolve.  We did it for him for a few hundred dollars, and he was both stunned and thrilled.

That’s the time that we have fun – bringing smiles to people’s faces!  And what it really takes is good communication.  If you don’t like something about your smile, talk to us about it.  Get ideas from us and then let us work with you for solutions that fulfill your desires in ways that allow you to be able to have it done.  Then you can really be the “lover” you want to be whether it’s with your kids, your significant other, or some new acquaintance.  Most importantly, so you can fall in love all over again with your smile!

By Bill Kuttler, DDS
December 20, 2016
Tags: smile   whitening   veneers   implants  

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” or so the song goes.  In general I agree with that song.  There is something about Christmas that is truly magical – for me it is about “peace on earth,” and other loving feelings.  Friends and family simply being together is what makes it so special for me.  

Then there’s the other side of Christmas, what many refer to as the “commercialization” of Christmas.  For me that translates into “what do I get for_____”, etc.  That is the part I don’t particularly care for.  Even when I know how much joy I’ve brought to someone I love with a special gift that they really appreciated. 

So what if we all tried something new this year for Christmas giving: Give people you care about your SMILE!  A true gift from the heart that can mean so much.  (You can tell the difference, when it’s really from the heart, can’t you?)  You don’t need to go to the mall and break the bank either, so it’s easy.  The great thing about your smile is that it’s instantly available over and over again, and believe it or not, the more you use it, the more you’ll want to use it.  It is renewable and can make you feel better too!

There’s actually been a fair amount of research done on smiling.  Smiling is one of the few things I’ve seen researched that actually shows no negative side effects.  The research has shown the following:

  • When someone smiles at you it’s actually hard to not smile back – smiles are contagious!
  • When you smile, even if you don’t really mean it, it feels good to you, and it reduces your stress levels.  Then, at least in my experience, the next time you smile it’s even more genuine and feels even better for you and the recipient.
  • Smiling makes your immune system stronger, and that in turn helps you prevent illness. 
  • Smiling makes you appear more attractive and approachable.  When you smile at others, you seem more welcoming, so people want to be with you.
  • Smiling also makes you seem more trustworthy compared to people who aren’t smiling. 

With a payoff like that, why not smile all the time?  The response that I often get is, “I don’t like my smile”.  As a dentist, I’m happy to tell people we can almost always help.  Sometimes the treatment is really simple yet achieves amazing results, and sometimes it’s really complicated and may achieve a noticeable, but not ideal improvement.  Dentistry now has so many tools to work with that improving smiles is usually highly predictable, and often far easier than many people expect.  The options are many depending on how your smile might benefit: whitening, reshaping teeth, use of tooth-colored bonding, veneers to change tooth color and shape, implants to replace missing teeth, and orthodontics,

The best news of all – everyone likes to see a smile!  As a dentist I get to see all sorts of “problems” that affect people’s smiles.  Yet I can’t remember seeing anyone smile at me that I didn’t appreciate or, in special cases, get the message of joy coming from their heart.  So if you don’t like your smile, make a resolution to improve it in the coming year.  But please, in this time of celebration, don’t let that stop you from smiling.  The grinch might try to steal Christmas, but don’t let anyone steal your smile!