Aging is one of the universal truths which impacts each and every one of us. While many things get better with age, such as friendships, jeans, and wine- our teeth aren’t typically included in that phenomenon.
While teeth may show their age alongside us, this doesn’t alter the importance they lend to our chewing, speaking, and ultimately, how we feel about ourselves when glancing in the mirror. It’s important to not become discouraged, the takeaway here is that a beautiful smile is still a possibility as we get older. However, securing that radiant smile will require a little more attention and dedication than it did in our teens and 20’s!
All Things Grow Older
With age comes many changes. So much of the body we’re familiar with begins to alter. Our skin becomes looser and tends to wrinkle, our hair loses volume and may recede, our nails become more brittle and delicate.
…and then there’s the teeth.
Our teeth at some point will begin to naturally lose their integrity over time through the body’s aging process. This is nothing to be ashamed of, and like the other aforementioned experiences, is something all of us will experience to some degree. It is, however, in our hands to manage these inevitabilities and adopt the necessary methods to remain confident and healthy as our bodies undergo these changes.
From White to Yellow
The teeth’s outer layer, labelled the enamel, is the sturdiest substance in the entire human anatomy. Enamel encases the tooth, protecting the more sensitive layers beneath and is ultimately responsible for the white hue on the surface we are all so familiar with.
Now as we age, this porous layer is destined to become thinner, allowing the yellowish material below, or the dentin, to become more visible. This is why older smiles are typically associated with being less white than their younger counterparts.
The enamel also consists of microscopic holes which become larger with age, resulting in the tooth’s surface becoming more susceptible to staining and discolouration. This makes our teeth extremely reflective of our dietary and lifestyle habits- more than ever. Meaning sugary, acidic, starchy substances and tobacco usage of any form will contaminate the appearance (and health) of the teeth much easier than they did decades before.
That white hue dissipating is not the only side effect of an aging smile.
Weakening enamel goes beyond aesthetic concerns. This makes the teeth’s defenses weaker; increasing the risk of more serious dental complications arising- which will not only look unpleasant, but threaten the functionality of your smile.
This is why it’s crucial to book routine checkups with a dental professional at least twice a year. Not only can we professionally cleanse stains that at home brushing and flossing cannot, it gives us the opportunity to check for age-related dental problems like tooth decay, gum disease, dry mouth, and more.
A Plethora of Solutions
Brushing and Flossing
The basics are often overlooked, but they’re the basics for a reason. Thorough and frequent brushing and flossing have an undeniable track record of being the best method to maintain a healthy smile. Brushing should be done twice daily, especially after eating meals. Flossing is to be performed at least daily as well, as it removes plaque buildup from the hard-to-reach crevasses between the teeth and gums which brushing cannot access.
Changing Old Habits
It’s recommended to alter your consumption habits to contend with the changing dynamics of an aging smile. While cutting back on acidic, sugary, and starchy foods are great recommendations, this isn’t feasible 24/7. When you do consume such substances, make a habit of rinsing out your mouth with water or mouthwash afterwards. You can also adopt the usage of straws when drinking liquids known to stain the teeth like coffee or teas.
As previously mentioned, routine visits with a dental professional will be a massive boon to curb the side effects of any aging smile. Professional cleanings can brighten your smile much more effectively than at-home brushing and flossing. It goes beyond whitening though! You also receive a professional’s touch; capable of identifying and remedying other oral health complications which may pop up throughout the years.
There is a plethora of over-the-counter teeth whitening products which are widely available from retailers both online and in store! These include toothpastes infused with teeth whitening elements and teeth whitening strips which you apply to brighten up your smile’s hue. This is a great method to utilize in between your routine dental appointments, and gives you a positive habit which gives you more control over the state of a changing smile. Keep in mind, those with extremely sensitive teeth may need to seek other alternatives. Additionally, those with prominent dental restorations may not want to undergo these practices as these products can only change the colour of natural teeth.
Professional Teeth Whitening
The next step up is the professional approach. Through our services and technology, we can effectively whiten the teeth more effectively than any store-bought product is capable of. Being completely safe for the teeth and gums, many patients self-conscious about their appearance seek our professional touch to bestow them with a whiter smile. This route guarantees longer lasting results and requires less maintenance in the long run!
Age is but a number, and while it’s a mountain we’re all destined to climb, we may still look good doing it.
It’s never too late to care about the aesthetic of your smile, and believe this, in today’s age it’s possible for anybody to boast a beautiful smile. While it may require more attention and dedication, there are realistic methods to ensure your smile retains its former glory as much as possible! To learn more about tooth discoloration, and the methods to combat it, book an appointment with our office today!