Your mouth reveals more than just a pretty smile—it reveals your age. And since the smile is usually the first thing people notice about a person, it may be worth turning back the clock with some anti-aging tips.
“As we get older, our teeth change, and often our smiles age faster than our chronological age,” says Ira Handschuh, DDS, a general and cosmetic dentist at the Dental Design Center in New York. “Aging teeth often appear darker, yellow and dull, as well as worn in length. And teeth often begin to chip and give our lips less support, which gives an aging appearance.”
You don’t have to lose hope, though. You can preserve, improve and protect your smile with these anti-aging tips for a younger looking smile.
Often coffee, wine and other dark, tooth-staining food or drink can take the luster out of your pearly whites. This is the number one thing that can age your mouth. Fortunately, there are a lot of options to brighten your teeth and keep you grinning big.
If you have healthy gums and teeth with no fillings, then drugstore whitening products may work for you. However, most over-the-counter whitening products don’t work on veneers, crowns or caps. So the best route to take is to discuss your options with your dentist to find the best one for you.
So we already know that snacking on unhealthy foods is bad for our waistline. Nothing new here. But what we may not think about is that it’s also bad for our mouth. Frequent snacking, like sipping on soda or munching on potato chips, can keep acid levels in your mouth elevated for a longer time as you snack throughout the day.
The true problem with snacking is sugar. We expect sugar in junk foods and drinks. What we don’t expect is the hidden sugars in bread, cereals and other processed foods. These sugars produce acids in your mouth which wear away your tooth enamel over time. And as you snack throughout the day, you’re literally bathing your teeth in acids all day long.
Instead of reaching for sugary snacks, try replacing them with healthy choices like carrot or celery sticks which won’t hang around your teeth all day.
Take time to brush and floss
Most people know the importance of brushing and have made that a daily habit twice a day. However, many rush through this task and stop just before it gets really effective. Brushing properly for at least two minutes can help keep gums and teeth healthy.
And don’t forget to floss! Flossing helps remove food particles from between teeth and beneath the gum line which can irritate the gums and cause them to become inflamed. Keep your smile youthful by taking care of your teeth.
Reshape your smile
When your teeth are healthy and your smile is bright, you have more confidence to let your youthful spirit shine through. And you don’t have to let a less than perfect smile stop you. Braces aren’t just for tweens. As we age, our teeth tend to angle inward and cosmetic dental procedures can be a great anti-aging option.
If you aren’t fond of the thought of a metal grin, there are more subtle options like Invisalign and ceramic braces.
Dr. Coleman is a leading cosmetic dentist in the United States, as well as an international lecturer in dental techniques and technology. With a great sense of humor and a sense of compassion for others, Dr. Coleman takes pride in improving the lives and smiles of his patients.