When you smile, are you concerned with how your teeth will look? Do you avoid pictures because you don’t think your teeth are the greatest? As with other aspects of our appearance as we get older, our smiles can show signs of age. Over time, natural ‘wear and tear’ can wear at the enamel and deteriorate the appearance of the teeth. Teeth can also in many instances become loose, fall out or get chipped or damaged. Unfortunately, in many cases damage to your smile and teeth can make you appear older that your actual age. However, there are many cosmetic and restorative dental treatments today that will give you that beautiful smile back.
What are some things that disproprotionately impact your smile and cause wear and decay?
Acid erosion is one of the most common issues with the decay of the teeth. This is caused by eating sugary foods and drinking beverages with a high sugar content. When the sugar stays on the teeth, bacteria starts to grow if the teeth aren’t brushed on a regular basis. This bacteria can then create acids which will eat away at the enamel. When the enamel is ate away, tiny pits, or cavities, form on the teeth. Soda is perhaps the worst thing to cause erosion of the enamel on the teeth. Try to avoid snacking during the day, especially on foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash. Chewing a sugarless gum will also help keep the bacteria off the teeth.
Mechanical wear also affects the appearance of the teeth as well as the function. As you age, the teeth don’t become more brittle. They will stay strong as long as you take care of them, which is true for people of all ages. This includes brushing, flossing and visiting your dentist for regular examinations. This might seem like dental care 101, but if you want your smile to look as good as you feel, especially as you get older, then you can not overlook the basics.
Bruxism, or grinding your teeth, over time can wear down your teeth and cause them to become weak and crack. If you suffer from bruxism, the sooner you get the condition treated by your dentist, the sooner the progressive damage to your smile can be stopped. While we all have a sweet tooth, eating hard foods or candy can also damage the teeth. Dentists also recommend that you avoid eating ice as this can cause cracks in the teeth. When your teeth get chipped or cracked, the nerves can be exposed, and serious damage and decay can ensure. This added teeth sensitivity will create difficulties when eating because the area will be more sensitive to hot and cold foods. Chipped teeth also are highly visible and can make your smile look uneven.
While we’ve outlined steps each person can take to help maintain a healthy smile and minimize the appear of wear and decay over time, there are many cosmetic and restorative dental treatments from your dentist that can correct these issues. Dental crowns can be placed over the teeth by your dentist in order to make it look and feel like you have your original tooth, as well as dental veneers which can have the same dramatic impact in restoring a healthy looking smile. Professional teeth whitening also can get that smile several shades brighter and whiter, and for cases needing a higher level of treatment, smile makeovers can combine multiple treatments to get the end result that you want and deserve.
So age can impact your smile like many other things, but a combination of taking steps to maintain optimal oral health along with the right treatment plan from your dentist, will make no one the wiser when looking at your beautiful pearly whites.