As you get older, you may notice a few more aches and pains, a few more wrinkles and gray hairs. But did you know that as you get older, your teeth can also begin to show signs of aging? As you get older, it is incredibly important that you take care of your teeth. There are also things you can do to ensure you have a healthy smile that you feel confident in. Here are three things to consider as you age with your teeth.
1. The shape of your teeth.
When we first get our permanent teeth, they are typically long and round. But as we get older, our teeth tend to become shorter and more square-shaped. In addition, while our teeth start out different lengths, sometimes a sign of aging teeth is that they all become the same length. This happens after decades of basic wear and tear. It can also be the result of years of teeth grinding or even something like acid reflux. If your teeth are so small that they are causing difficulty chewing or causing you embarrassment, your dentist may recommend dental crowns or maybe even implants. If teeth grinding is causing your teeth to be the same length, your dentist may want you to start using a mouthguard at night. Not only will this help protect your teeth, but it will also relieve you of headaches and discomfort that teeth grinding often brings.
2. The color of your teeth.
As we get older, our teeth tend to more easily reveal stains and often get darker and less white. Frequently consuming things like coffee, soda, and tea are more likely to stain our teeth. If you drink coffee or tea every morning, consider getting in the habit of brushing right after to prevent further stains. Drinking from a straw can also help prevent stains. If you’re looking to whiten your teeth, your dentist can recommend some great prescription strength whitening options that will greatly brighten your smile.
3. The health of your teeth.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that as many as 34% of US adults over the age of 65 have lost six or more teeth because of tooth decay and gum disease. Even with great dental hygiene, as we get older the enamel on our teeth begins to wear down. Enamel is the hard outer surface of the teeth that protects them from decay. Without it, we are much more likely to develop cavities. Gum recession, which can happen as a result of basic wear and tear, also makes teeth more vulnerable to decay. As you age, it is important to give your teeth special care and attention. Start by ensuring that you are brushing at least twice a day for two minutes each time with a fluoride toothpaste. It is also essential that you floss your teeth at least once a day to remove germs and bacteria that simply brushing will not remove.
You may consider switching from a manual toothbrush to an electric toothbrush. One of our favorites is the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Electric toothbrush. This toothbrush is able to effectively remove food in hard-to-reach areas and makes your teeth feel like you’ve been to the dentist every time you use it.
It’s essential that you visit your dentist twice a year no matter your age, but it is arguably even more important as you get older. Your dentist can not only help you with the shape and color of your teeth in order to give you a confident smile, but she can also help you avoid more serious problems like cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss. From teeth whitening to dentures, we would love to help you at Cornerstone Family Dentistry, so make an appointment with us today!