Tips to Maintain Youthful Teeth Into Old Age
Many people experience increasing dental problems as they age, and these dental problems can sometimes make you look older than you are. Fortunately, keeping your teeth healthy and attractive can dispel the confusion. Below are practical measures you can follow to keep your teeth looking younger even as you age.
Whiten Discolored Teeth
Teeth tend to discolor with age. Some contributing factors that lead to this discoloration include:
- Past dental problems and injuries
- Years of consuming food and beverages that discolor teeth
- Years of enamel wear
Luckily, you can whiten your teeth to minimize the discoloration trend. Whitening options include special whitening toothpastes, gels, rinses, strips, and trays. You can also schedule in-office whitening from your dentist.
However, you should consult a dentist before beginning the treatments — regardless of if you use DIY or in-office methods. The dentist will examine your teeth and advise you on the best whitening technique for your case. Your dental health, type of discoloration, and extent of discoloration may determine the most suitable whitening treatment.
Replace Lost Teeth
Age-related teeth loss has multiple causes. Examples include:
- A lifetime of dental problems
- Medications that erode and weaken the teeth
- Chronic dry mouth
- Dental treatment delay, for example, because of reduced teeth sensitivity
You should replace your lost teeth as soon as possible. Apart from making you look older, living with missing teeth also increases the risk of teeth misalignment, jawbone deterioration, and further tooth loss.
Luckily, you have several teeth replacement options including dentures, dental bridges, and dental implants. All these options have their pros and cons, and your dentist can help you make an informed decision based on your budget, number of missing teeth, and health.
Keep Your Mouth Moist
Many people also experience dry mouth in old age. Typical causes include reduced activities of the salivary glands, side effects of medications (for age-related ailments), and chronic health conditions.
The reduced saliva allows bacteria to accumulate in your mouth. The bacteria can trigger a range of dental problems, including gum diseases and dental caries. Both problems interfere with your teeth's appearance.
Keep your mouth moist to preempt such problems. You can do this by:
- Sipping water throughout the day
- Chewing sugarless gum
- Using oral moisturizers
- Asking your physician for alternative medication that doesn't dry the mouth.
These tips can help keep gum disease and cavities at bay and maintain younger-looking teeth.
Manage Your Health
Your mouth and general health have a stronger connection than you may realize. And some chronic health conditions, which usually creep up in old age, can affect your mouth and teeth.
Consider diabetes, which increases blood sugar. With poor management of diabetes, elevated sugar levels damage blood vessels that nourish the gums, leaving you susceptible to gum disease, which triggers gum recession and can leave you with long, unsightly teeth.
The solution is to care for your overall health. Get treatments for all health problems as soon as possible, take your medications as prescribed, and follow your doctor's orders to the letter.
Straighten Crooked Teeth
Lastly, crooked teeth can also make you appear older than you are. Causes of dental misalignment in old age include:
- Missing teeth
- Overcrowded teeth due to jawbone changes
- Misalignment that has existed from early ages
Get orthodontic treatment to straighten your crooked teeth. According to WebMD, old age is not a barrier to orthodontic treatment, including dental braces.
Contact Airport Road Dental Associates for all your cosmetic dentistry needs. We have practiced family dentistry for decades and have invested in the latest dental technologies. We promise to help you keep your teeth attractive well into your sunset years.