If your teeth have gone from pearly white to dull and yellow as you age, don’t worry- there’s good news! When it comes to your teeth, age doesn’t have to come before beauty. Although some problems come with dental health and aging, with the proper care and attention, in many cases, you can restore your radiant smile in no time.
What Happens to Your Teeth as You Age?
As you age, your teeth will start to show signs of wear and tear. And it makes sense! After decades of doing hard work, they need a little extra love to stay sparkling. Through the years, you’ll notice that your teeth will begin to appear darker, duller and shorter as they are worn down. Our enamel can get thinner, the exposed dentin becomes darker, teeth begin to yellow, and gums recede to expose the darker roots of the teeth and cause increased sensitivity. You may also notice your teeth beginning to rearrange, often because of grinding or clenching at night, causing crowding, gaps or overlapping. There’s a lot going on in your mouth as you age, but there’s no need to worry. There are many things you can do to bring your smile back to life.
Caring for Aging Teeth
- Prevention – The best way to fight aging teeth problems is to protect them from aging effects before they have a chance to take their toll. Maintaining good oral hygiene is your greatest weapon against the adverse effects of aging teeth. Make sure you see your dentist regularly for your twice-yearly cleanings, brush twice a day, and floss once a day.
- TIP: Use an electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes effectively remove plaque in hard-to-reach places and usually have a timer in the device that will ensure your teeth get their two full minutes of brushing time each time you brush.
- Restore whiteness – Bring the youthful sparkle back to your teeth by restoring whiteness and brightness. A great first step in whitening your smile, is to try a whitening toothpaste with hydrogen peroxide. If that isn’t enough to revive your white smile, try using whitening pens and devices that have a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide or devices that combine light with hydrogen peroxide or devices that combine light with hydrogen peroxide or devices that combine light with hydrogen peroxide. For stains that won’t come off with over-the-counter methods, talk to your dentist about professional whitening treatments. Caution: Cosmetic dental materials, such as fillings, bonding, veneers, bridges and crowns, will not whiten with normal tooth whitening solutions, so be sure to use caution when whitening at home
- Wear a night guard or aligner – If you tend to grind or clench your teeth at night, your dentist might recommend that you wear a night guard or tooth aligner to protect your teeth and enamel from the damage and unwanted movement or crowding that comes with aging teeth. Not only can a mouth guard save your teeth from additional dental work, but it can also help keep your teeth looking young and feeling healthy.
- Bonding and veneers – When it comes to shaping teeth and repairing broken or uneven teeth, your best options are bonding or veneers. Bonding uses a material called resin to repair chipped teeth or fill gaps between them. Veneers are the more permanent option to fixing chipped or stained teeth.
- Gum grafting for receding gums – Aging teeth and gums come hand-in-hand. For receding gums that cause continued pain and sensitivity, dentists will often recommend a gum graft. A gum graft will either use gums from the roof of the mouth or existing gums from the base of the tooth to cover the exposed area. This will help curb sensitivity and bring back the pain-free eating and drinking you enjoyed in your youth.
Give your teeth the same amount of care they’ve given you through the years and start your journey toward a confident smile today. Talk to your dentist about which solutions will be best for you.