You spend a lot of time and money on ways to look and feel younger. So don’t ruin the effect every time you open your mouth to eat or smile. As you age, so naturally does your smile.
1. Discolored Teeth
The number one giveaway to an aging smile is the color of your teeth. As teeth age, they make take on a grayish, yellow or brown tint that can come from staining from foods and tobacco use. If teeth are yellow or are simply stained, they are good candidates to be whitened through a professional whitening method. They can also respond well to regular professional cleanings and the avoiding of foods that stain like red wine and coffee.
If teeth are gray or brown, this may indicate that the enamel has thinned and that the normally-brown tint of the interior dentin is showing through. Whitening will not work in this case, and could even thin the enamel further, creating sensitivity in the teeth. In this case, porcelain veneers are recommended to give a whiter appearance.
2. Excessive Wear
Chewing or tooth grinding can wear down teeth eventually, causing them to look shorter and flat along the edges. Instead of having a combination of tooth lengths, the teeth may all be the same length, creating a straight line across the smile line. Excessive wear may be caused by eating hard foods, tooth grinding or bad habits like fingernail biting or chewing on ice.
Another problem may that occur from the loss of tooth length is wrinkles! Without the teeth to fill in and add structure, the face can sag. For excessive tooth wear, porcelain veneers would be an excellent option to restore length and shape to your teeth. Your dentist may recommend also a night guard to discourage further tooth wear.
3. Chips and Cracks
Chipped-off edges on your teeth give your smile a ragged look and cause your teeth to appear uneven and unattractive. Chips may also give the impression that you do not take good care of your dental health. They are often caused by eating hard foods or using the teeth to crack or open foods or objects. Tooth cracks can also affect the appearance of teeth and add to an aged appearance. Your dentist can contour small chips to restore a more appealing smile. For deeper chips or cracks, bonding or porcelain veneers may be the best options to both preserve the teeth and restore their younger appearance.
4. Misaligned and Missing Teeth
Even if you had braces as a youngster, your teeth can still shift out of alignment as you age, creating a crooked smile. You may have also experienced tooth loss throughout the years as well. Gaps in your smile can cause remaining teeth to shift and become misaligned affecting both your appearance and your bite. As an adult, you can explore the option of the Invisalign tooth straightening system for misaligned teeth. For missing teeth, a bridge or dental implant may be the answer to restoring an imperfect smile.
5. Mismatched Dental Work
Since people move around and dentists retire, it often happens that people don’t retain the same dentist throughout their lifetime. With each dentist, different restorations like fillings and crowns are done on your smile, and this variety of dental styles can leave a patchwork in your mouth instead of a cohesive look. For example, old crowns may remain at one color while the normal aging of your teeth can yellow them over time. The answer here is to create symmetry using the techniques your current dentist recommends that can include replacement of fillings or crowns or porcelain veneers. A complete smile restoration can be done all at once or over time.
Want a Younger Smile? Consult With Advanced Family Dentistry in Reston, Virginia
Remember the old Western movies? When a cowboy wanted to determine the age of a horse he wanted to purchase, he asked, “Let me look at its teeth.” He could approximate just how old a horse was by the condition, wear and shape of its teeth.
You certainly don’t want people to tell your age by your teeth!
If you’d like to look (and feel) younger, we can help. At least with your smile. We’ll help you explore the newest and most advanced options for turning back the clock on your smile. If you’re located in Northern Virginia, please contact Advanced Family Dentistry for an appointment.
Dr. Sonny Kim is a Diplomat of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI), the highest education level for general dentists in this field.