The paparazzi may not be tailing you, but why not flash a movie star smile? Teeth are one of the first things people notice when meeting someone new. What type of impression are you creating? According to many surveys, a nice smile can make you look younger. Most importantly, smiling more may actually make you feel happier.

The first step is good dental home care. Brush after meals with a whitening toothpaste and floss daily. If you’d like more noticeable results, your best bet is a professional treatment. Over-the-counter products can be irritating and even painful for some people.

For those with surface stains, a custom-fitted tray created by your dentists can be used at home with bleaching gel. For those with deeper stains (often caused by medication taken as a child), veneers are a better option.

According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), a veneer is a “thin piece of porcelain used to re-create the natural look of teeth, while also providing strength and resilience comparable to natural tooth enamel.”

Consult with a trusted dentist to discuss your best options.