Smile Pretty

General practitioner Dr. Joel Picard and orthodontist Dr. Jordan Jaffe give us the lowdown on the latest in whitening and straightening procedures to glam up your choppers.



How it works: Oxidizing gel in custom-fit trays whiten teeth an average of four shades.
Cost: $300–$800
How long it takes: 18–21 days Lasts: About a year
Comfort factor*: 2

Tooth Contouring

How it works: Removes a small amount of enamel to change shape or length.
Cost: $100–$200 per tooth
How long it takes: 1 appointment
Lasts: Indefinitely
Comfort factor*: 1


How it works: Composite resin shaped, polished and blended in to fix cracks/discoloration.
Cost: $200–$500 per tooth
How long it takes:  1 appointment
Lasts: 4–12 years, depending on care, habits
Comfort factor*: 1


How it works: Sculpted pieces of porcelain bonded to teeth to fix crooked/chipped issues.
Cost: $1,000–$2,000 per tooth
How long it takes:  2 appointments
Lasts: 8–20 years, depending on care, habits and fit
Comfort factor*: 2


How it works: Custom-shaped porcelain overlay replaces the entire external portion of the tooth.
Cost: $1,000–$2,000 per tooth
How long it takes: 2 appointments
Lasts: –20 years, depending on care, habits
Comfort factor*: 2

Invisible Orthodontia

How it works: Invisalign, a brand of invisible braces, snap over and straighten teeth.
Cost: $2,000–$3,000 for simple case, $5,000–$7,000 for comprehensive
How long it takes: 4–6 months for simple cases, up to 2 years for more complex.
Lasts: Permanently if retainers are worn
Comfort factor*: 3

Nothing but the tooth!

 Fact: The best way to make a good impression? Work on your pearly whites. In one survey, 50 percent said a smile is the first feature they notice in someone.

 Fact: Your chompers aren’t so tough. One study reports aquatic snail’s teeth are the strongest material found in nature.

 Fact: Our toothpaste-free ancestors cleaned their teeth with charcoal or ground chalk, ashes, lemon juice and honey-tobacco mixtures.

 Fact: In the early 1800s, pre-modern dentistry, barbers did most dental work, extracting teeth to alleviate pain.

 Fact: Teeth whitening may be an $11 billion industry today, but in medieval Japan, women used ink to stain their teeth black, which was considered more attractive.

–Kaitlyn Hayes