Cosmetic Dentistry |9 min read

It’s Never Too Late to Improve Your Smile (Start Here)

Do you feel guilty about spending money on yourself? Can’t justify the cost no matter how big or little?

Let me guess:

You’re the primary caretaker in your family.

You love spoiling your friends and family with gifts, thoughtful gestures, or your time.

The idea of spending money on yourself means taking money away from others, theoretically.

Well, guess what?

It’s your turn. Your turn to do something for yourself. 

And the people who love you want you to do the same. They know how much you care, and they want to see you happy as well.

So if that’s your dream new car, buy it! If it’s a kitchen remodel, start knocking down walls (or hire a contractor)!

But more than likely:

You’re here because you want to improve your smile.

Improve your smile like our Real patient Kathy with text, "Investing in your smile is one of the wisest decisions you can make. You’ll use it every day for the rest of your life."

Lucky for you:

Investing in your smile is one of the wisest decisions you can make.


You’ll use it every single day. 24/7. For the rest of your life.

Can you say that about a boat or vacation house? No!

If that didn’t convince you, keep reading for more reasons why your smile is worth investing in.

But if you’re already sold, click here to scroll down to see how to improve your smile.

10 reasons why your smile is important

Let’s preface this by saying:

If you’re not happy with your smile, you won’t use it as often. Therefore, if you want to reap all these benefits, you should improve your smile, so you’re proud of it and want to show it off.

  1. The act of smiling releases endorphins, which relieves stress and pain and improves your mood.
  2. It’s contagious (the good kind). When you smile, those around you will as well – you’ll light up the room.
  3. People are naturally drawn to those who smile; you’ll seem more likable and friendly.
  4. Smiling makes you appear more attractive (even more so than makeup), younger, and thinner.
  5. Smiling is a key part of making positive, lasting first impressions.
  6. You’re deemed more trustworthy if you smile.
  7. You’ll look more confident if you smile.
  8. Smiling is known to help with job promotions.
  9. It also helps improve your immune system.
  10. You’ll likely take better care of your oral health if you love your smile.

That last one is especially important because oral health is linked to overall health.

Think of dental care – whether it’s preventative or cosmetic – as self-care for your entire well-being (physical, mental, emotional, social, physiological, and economic).

You deserve this!

Now, let’s get to the good stuff, like how to make your dream smile actually happen.

10 Ways to Improve Your Smile: Smile Design, Porcelain Veneers, Dental Implants, Dental Crowns, Orthodontics, Tooth-Colored Fillings, Teeth Whitening, Composite Bonding, Gum Contouring, Enamel Shaping

Top 10 ways to improve your smile

From full-blown makeovers to affordable and instant fixes, this list below outlines proven treatments that’ll grant you a better-looking smile.

1. Smile design

Let’s start with the crème de la crème!

Smile design is the ultimate smile makeover because it utilizes one or more dental treatments in a very custom manner.

It takes into consideration your:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Skin tone
  • Hair color
  • Lips
  • Gumline
  • Facial features

That personalized touch paired with modern dental technology and a skilled cosmetic dentist makes for an unbelievable smile makeover.

Something we offer that most dentists don’t is an intra-oral preview.

This allows you to physically try on a mockup of your new smile before starting any treatment. Knowing exactly what to expect will help ease nerves and ensure you’re happy with the outcome.

2. Porcelain veneers

Got visible smile flaws?

Veneers are perfect for hiding:

  • Chips and cracks
  • Discoloration or stains
  • Misshapen or irregular teeth
  • Teeth that are too small or undersized
  • Gaps
  • Misalignment
  • Worn-down teeth

You can fix one or multiple teeth. Generally, you only need them on the teeth that show when you smile.

There are many types of veneers, but we recommend porcelain veneers.


They’re more durable, last longer, and look more natural.

3. Dental implants

Missing one or more teeth?

Dental implants are the first choice for replacing missing teeth.


  • The only restoration that replaces your entire missing tooth, including the root
  • Preserves bone structure, which prevents other teeth from shifting and that “sunk-in” elderly look
  • Custom-made to look and feel like a real tooth so that no one will notice
  • Are just as functional as a natural tooth so that you can eat your favorite foods again without pain
  • With proper care, the implant should last a lifetime

Dental implants are also ideal if your tooth is severely damaged or decayed.

If you’re concerned about pain, ease your mind by hearing these real patient stories.

Before and after cosmetic dentistry photos of two real patients who improved their smiles with cosmetic dentistry

4. Dental crowns

Dental crowns are tooth-like caps that cover the structural part of your tooth. Crowns are also used on dental implants and bridges.

You might benefit from a crown if your tooth is damaged, decayed, unsightly, or discolored.

A crown will help strengthen your tooth, so it’s fully functional and prevent further damage or decay (and save you money down the road).

Over time, crowns need to be updated for functional and cosmetic reasons (like if your gum and crown line don’t look natural anymore).

5. Orthodontics

Gaps, misalignment, bite issues, crooked teeth, you name it… Orthodontics fixes it.

And in today’s modern society, you don’t have to settle for metal brackets and wires. Your options include:

  • Traditional metal braces
  • Clear or ceramic braces
  • Lingual braces
  • Invisalign
  • Other clear aligners

You may be surprised to realize just how impactful orthodontic treatment is. Moving your bite into proper alignment can truly change your life; no more facial pain or headaches, easier digestion, clearer speech, etc.

6. Tooth-colored fillings

Mercury (metal or amalgam) fillings are unsightly and a risk factor for your health.

Tooth-colored fillings use composite material instead, which looks more natural and welds better to your tooth.

If you need a new filling or an old one replaced, ask about metal-free fillings.

7. Teeth whitening

Teeth whitening is a very cost-effective way to enhance your smile.

Whitening your teeth will help you look healthier, younger, and diminish the appearance of any smile defects.

The best teeth whitening?

Go to your dentist!

Professional teeth whitening by a dentist will offer better results than over-the-counter, like white strips, because their formulas are stronger, they customize the treatment to help you achieve your desired shade of white, and it’s safer and more comfortable.

Before and after cosmetic dentistry photos of two real patients

8. Composite bonding

Dental bonding is an affordable alternative to veneers for minor fixes, including

  • Chips and cracks
  • Misshapen or irregular teeth
  • Teeth that are too small or undersized
  • Gaps
  • Worn-down teeth

This method involves “bonding” tooth-colored composite material onto your tooth. Your dentist will shape and polish the material, so it looks completely natural and achieves your desired result.

9. Gum contouring

Do you have a gummy smile? An unsymmetrical gum line? Or teeth that appear too short?

Gum contouring or reshaping is used to:

  • Remove excess gum tissue
  • Reveal more teeth
  • Create an even gum line

It’s a straightforward procedure that significantly changes your smile’s attractiveness.

10. Enamel shaping

Enamel shaping or contouring is used to correct minor imperfections like uneven or slightly crowded teeth.

It’s quick, painless, and offers instant results!

Ready to improve your smile?

Your next step is to find an accredited cosmetic dentist.

Not any dentist can do these treatments listed above (or at least do them well). Here are 4 tips to help you find the best cosmetic dentist near you.

Once you narrow down your search, schedule a consultation (often free of charge).

A dental consultation allows you to share your dental goals with a dentist and hear what he/she recommends, including types of treatments, costs, and timeline. From there, you can make an informed decision.

Looking for a dentist near Huntersville, NC?

NorthStar Dentistry for Adults has two skilled dentists, Dr. John Merrill and Dr. David Bunn.

Dr. Merrill became an Accredited Member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry… This text opens a new tab to the AACD website… in 2001 and has since then perfected the art and science of creating beautiful, natural-looking smiles built to last. While Dr. Bunn is a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists and has advanced training in comprehensive and implant dentistry.

Together, our dynamic dentist duo offers superior restorative and cosmetic dentistry under one roof with a host of perks.

Multiple dental problems? We’ve got the solution with our comprehensive full mouth restoration.

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Our office is based out of Huntersville, NC… opens in a new window to Google Maps…, and serves patients from all over, including Cornelius, Charlotte, Davidson, Rock Hill, Fort Mill, Gastonia, and Concord, NC.