Aging comes with plenty of changes to our hormone levels, our bodies, and yes, our teeth. Especially in women, it can drastically impact the look of your smile. For instance, calcium depletion can cause considerable changes to your overall oral health.
From staining to crowding, and even losing teeth, your smile ages you as much as the condition of your skin. And with all the changes that come with age, including dry mouth, tooth decay, and gum disease, there are real health benefits to cosmetic dentistry. Not only can it help you keep your smile and your confidence, but it will help you look younger, and can even help against gum disease, a weakened chin, and help you avoid other problems as you age.
Protect Against Staining With Cosmetic Whitening
One of the most significant indicators of the age of your teeth is color and staining. Acidic degradation of tooth enamel can leave your teeth with discoloration and stains. You can sometimes see the enamel wearing away on your teeth as greyish, as it wears away the white and reveals your tooth as more translucent.
Whitening or bleaching can help you keep the white shine to your teeth. There are several whitening options available, from drug store simple to more complicated dental whitening you can talk to your dentist about. Over-the-counter whiteners work perfectly fine if you’ve already got healthy teeth and gums.
If you’ve got a lot of visible fillings, or your gums aren’t in great shape, consider checking with your dentist before deciding what type of whitener you should be using. Another option is to stick with whitening toothpaste. These use whitening agents directly in your toothpaste, and work to bleach your teeth a small amount day by day, and might be easier to fit into your schedule than a monthly, or bi-monthly whitening treatment.
Try Veneers to Fix Chips and Cracks
Chips and cracks don’t just change the look of your smile. They also weaken tooth enamel and the overall structure of the tooth, leading to deeper cracks or breaks later on. Even if the chips or cracks aren’t big or deep enough to cause pain now, there’s no guarantee that the wear and tear of the years won’t cause problems later.
Veneers are a fantastic way to change the shape, color, and overall look of your smile. They are generally made of porcelain. They are made to match the color of your original teeth (but you can add a few shades whiter if you need to.) Unlike whitening, they don’t require upkeep to stay white, though you should consult with a dentist on how to properly take care of and protect veneers. You should not use over-the-counter whitening strips or treatments if you have veneers.
Crowns Can Help You Fix Broken or Vulnerable Teeth
If you want to keep your teeth as you age, sometimes, your best bet is a crown. Though they’re more expensive than veneers, they are an excellent way to give your troubled teeth new life. Crowns are perfect for teeth that have been severely broken or cracked, or if you’ve needed any root canals. The crown replaces the surface of your tooth, to protect it from further damage. Like veneers, it is designed to maintain the shape and color of your natural tooth.
Crowns are also a good idea if you have a habit of grinding your teeth. Veneers are primarily cosmetic, and designed to fit on the front of your teeth. Crowns can be installed along the edge of your tooth, protecting you from further cracks or wearing.
Watch Your Gumline
As we age, the collagen in our skin and hair can thin. This can cause wrinkles and grey hairs. But it’s not the only place we need to worry about. Our gumline is also full of collagen. As we age, the depletion of collagen can cause your teeth to look longer, and keep you looking older. Years of aggressive brushing, or gum disease and tartar buildup can also wear away at your gumline. As well as aging your smile, it also exposes the root of the tooth, which can cause a lot of pain, and may eventually require a root canal.
Brushing less aggressively can help, so switch to an electric toothbrush. Dentists can also offer surgical options, with gum grafting surgery to lower your receding gums and keep your smile looking young.
Consider Getting Braces
Even if you avoided braces as an awkward adolescent, you might find you need them more as you age. The bad news is that as you age, your teeth and jawline, and even your chin, can start to fall inward. That means even if you had work done, it could begin to collapse.
The good news is, if your teeth are healthy, there’s no age limit to straightening them. Orthodontics can have a massive impact on the look of your smile, no matter your age. It’s a long-term investment, and more complicated than crowning or veneers. But crowns and veneers only last 10-25 years, depending on the material, and your dentist. Braces come in a variety of types and styles, and the effects can last much longer. Just be sure to do your research, so you know what you’re getting into before you make a long-term decision.
If you really want your smile to convey a younger-looking you? The trick is to smile more often! A confident, open expression looks more youthful than a closed off one. Though the research on smiling and wrinkles seem inconclusive, it does suggest that most people find a smile to make you more attractive. Which is sure to make you feel more youthful and confident!
Your smile says a lot about you. But is it aging you? As we get older, everything from a loss of collagen, to a loss of confidence can impact our smile. To look and feel younger, cosmetic dentistry may provide the answer. Whether your teeth are stained from years of strong coffee, or you’re literally feeling long in the tooth, there is a solution to get you the brighter, younger-looking grin that will keep you feeling as radiant and youthful as ever.
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Co-Founder, Savant Mag