How to Age Gracefully While Keeping Your Smile Youthful

As we age, the surface of our teeth gets darker and duller, which can make us look older than we really are. The enamel on our teeth is made of tooth minerals called hydroxyapatite, which starts to break down as we get older. When this happens, the surface becomes porous, allowing for discoloration, cracks, and chips.

Now that you know how aging can affect your smile, here are some ways you can fight back:

Brush twice a day

Brushing your teeth is one of the easiest ways to keep them looking young and healthy. Make sure to brush thoroughly twice a day to remove plaque and other particles that can build up on the surface of your teeth.

Vigorously brushing your teeth once a day with a hard-bristled toothbrush can also help preserve the youthful white color of your teeth as it removes plaque and stains on the surfaces over time. Use a soft-bristled brush for daily use and switch to a hard-bristled toothbrush when you want to give your teeth an extra deep cleaning.

Whiten Your Teeth

The most common way to fight aging is to brighten your teeth, but you should go about it carefully. Teeth-whitening products can strip the enamel from your teeth if you use them too often or in combination with certain medications. Talk to your dentist before starting a whitening regimen if you’re at all concerned about the effects of bleaching products on your teeth. Whiteners work by removing stains from your teeth, but they also remove the dark color that makes the enamel look aged in the first place. In addition, whiteners can cause sensitivity in some people.

What causes tooth darkening?

One major difference between younger and older teeth is the presence of discoloration. Aging of the teeth can cause them to become darker in appearance, a condition known as intrinsic staining. This staining can occur with age and may be more visible in patients who have naturally lighter tooth color, to begin with. Intrinsic staining is caused by an accumulation of chemicals contained within your teeth like tannins, sulfates, and phenols. These chemicals come from our food and drink and can also be produced by bacteria that live in our mouths.

Tannins are found in tea, wine, and berries while sulfates are present in things like eggs, dairy products, and chocolate. Phenols are commonly found in black and green teas, fruits including berries and oranges, as well as coffee, cocoa, nuts, and wine.

Monitor your gums

One of the most apparent signs of aging is receding gums. Over time, your bones naturally become less dense as you get older. Bone density in the jaw can reduce, causing receding gums. Gum recession is a gradual process that can have many various causes, from gum disease to years of aggressive brushing. Picking at your gums with your fingernails can also cause them to recede faster.

Dentures

If you have missing teeth, you may be considering dentures to replace them. Dentures are removable teeth replacements used to fill the voids caused by missing or extracted natural teeth. Complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain.

Complete and partial dentures differ from each other in many ways. Although both can improve your smile and self-confidence, there are distinct differences between them. You must carefully weigh your options before deciding on which type of denture is best for you.

There are two main types of dentures — complete and partial. Complete dentures replace all the natural teeth in your mouth, while partial ones only replace some teeth.

Veneers

Veneers are an attractive, durable, and affordable way to improve the appearance of your teeth. They can also be used to close gaps between teeth, repair cracks or chips, hide dark stains, and improve the position of your teeth. 

Tooth straightening

If you’re unhappy with your smile, there are many options for straightening teeth. These range from minor adjustments to major orthodontic work done on the growth plates in your mouth. To find out which option is right for you, schedule an appointment with your dentist. While braces may seem like a treatment reserved for children, adult braces are now much more comfortable, discreet and effective than they were in the past.

We’re all aging — it’s a part of life. And no matter how well you take care of yourself, your teeth will age, too. As you can see, there are many ways to rejuvenate the appearance of your teeth.

How quickly your teeth age varies from person to person, but everyone gets the same tell-tale signs: yellowing, darkening, and staining. It’s important to be proactive about oral hygiene. We advise you to go to the dentist regularly and to overcome all the problems you notice on your teeth in time.

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