How to anti-age your smile
Teeth don’t get wrinkles, unlike our skin, but they can be just as telling when it comes to revealing our ages. In fact, our smiles are one of the key signifiers when it comes to our age, as 50% of people say that our smiles are the first thing they notice.
Key indicators of old age include yellowing or missing teeth, bad fillings or the gradual onset of overcrowding. In an instant, flashing a less-than-perfect smile can take you from looking great for your age to looking older than your years.
So, what can be done to anti-age our smiles? Here’s our professional advice on what can be done to help you roll back the clock, giving your teeth a refreshed and rejuvenated look that can take years off of you.
Problem: A Narrow or Wonky Smile
A smile that’s narrow or wonky in nature can add years on to the wearer. If you have a narrow smile, your back teeth can get lost, creating a dark void at the back of the mouth which isn’t youthful or flattering. A more expansive smile can help to create the appearance of youthfulness, but how do you take a narrow grin to a wide one?
A narrow smile can be corrected with arch expansion aligners. These can be fitted by Invisalign-registered doctors, so do your research before committing. These aligners are expensive, and the results can take between three and six months to appear, but the upshot is that you will create a more youthful look overall. Often, you’ll not only gain a wider and more youthful smile, you’ll also achieve an improved jawline. The aligners can also help to lift sunken cheekbones, which creates a fuller and firmer-looking face overall.
Mesial drift is a phenomenon that occurs over the years, pushing the teeth towards each other and causing overcrowding. Crowded teeth can age your smile instantly, but there are health risks too; overcrowding can increase the risk of tooth decay, premature tooth loss and gum recession, and if any of these were to happen, your smile would certainly be looking older than its years. Tooth alignment, using a system such as Invisalign, is a great way to halt drifting teeth and keep your smile straight and precise, which helps you to look younger, stronger and more put-together.
Problem: Chipped or Uneven Teeth
Solution: Edge Bonding
As we age, it’s inevitable that teeth will begin to incur wear and tear, and start to show signs of the damage, but many budgets won’t stretch to veneers.
Chips, gaps or unevenness can start to become more prominent as we get older. If the edges and surfaces of your teeth are looking worn, a solution to the issue could be edge bonding, a treatment which works to fill in chips and gaps on the teeth. This is a relatively simple way to wind back the clock on your teeth, giving them an instant refresh and a smoother, brighter surface and clean lines, which can drastically improve the look of your smile. Edge bonding uses the same materials that’s used in fillings, mimicking the enamel to create a natural look.
Problem: Yellow Teeth
Solution: Professional Whitening
Think how the whites of our eyes are associated with age – our teeth are just the same. Yellowing teeth can instantly age us, hinting at years of poor maintenance and giving off the impression that we’re older than our years. Whitening is the quickest way to lift and enhance a tired smile, and can even take as much as five years off of your age.
Teeth naturally darken as we age, which can be exacerbated by the absorption of colour from the food and drink we consume. Brushing after every meal will help to stave off some of the effects from this, but teeth will naturally discolour regardless. As this is something that happens over time, naturally we regard whiter teeth as a more youthful attribute. Celebrities in their forties and fifties cottoned on to this years ago, and as a result many of them often look years younger, thanks to their smiles being bright and white. Having your teeth professionally whitened by your dentist is the safest and longest-lasting way to restore the brightness in your smile. However, whitening isn’t permanent, so you will need to factor in top-up appointments to maintain the whiteness of your smile.
Problem: Dark Metallic Fillings Ruining Your Smile
Solution: Swap Them Out for A Natural Look
As many as 92% of adults have fillings, but the advances in technology mean that those of us who had fillings years ago are set apart from the younger generation today, and a flash of a smile can very quickly give the game away when it comes to your age.
Older patients will likely have had silver or metallic fillings, which were very popular in years past. These fillings show up very clearly in the mouth, which can instantly age you when you smile. They’re also much darker than the teeth and can make the whole mouth look darker too. Modern fillings are crafted from plastic or porcelain, and come in a shade very similar to the teeth so that they can be easily camouflaged. This means that fillings are concealed and give the impression that the teeth are healthier, and younger. If you have silver or metallic fillings, you can ask your dentist to have these removed and swap them for porcelain or plastic tooth-coloured alternatives to instantly lift your smile and make it look more youthful.
Problem: Poor Dental Health
Solution: Guard Your Mouth Against Disease
It’s an obvious one, but there are still many dental patients whose teeth age far quicker because of the poor maintenance bestowed on them. Think about it; when have you ever seen someone that you think looks great for their age, who also has missing or diseased teeth?
The simplest way to ensure that your teeth look their best is taking good care of them. Brushing and flossing twice daily is the best way to prevent premature ageing of the teeth; neglecting basic dental care can exacerbate any underlying issues and eventually even cause issues as dramatic as tooth loss. You should also be sure to book in with your dentist every six months, for a thorough check-up and a professional deep clean, to keep on top of any potential issues and keep your teeth in their best condition.
Problem: Dental Wear and Tear
Solution: Use A Mouth Guard
Teeth that look old, do so because of the wear and tear they’ve experienced. Over the years, chips and uneven edges can develop, without you noticing the progress of these until it’s too late.
When we sleep, we grind our teeth, which damages the edges and creates an uneven surface. Over time, you may start to notice the edges of your teeth become uneven or distorted, and it’s likely that tooth grinding is the cause of this. Wearing a mouth guard whilst you sleep is a way to prevent the damage grinding causes, and helps to keep the teeth looking their best. Wearing a guard can also prevent another age-related issue: overcrowding. The guard can help to keep teeth in place whilst you sleep, helping to ward off signs of mesial drift.
Problem: Teeth Have a Variety of Issues
Solution: A Tooth Transformation
If your teeth are showing signs of a multitude of issues, including discolouration, poor alignment, uneven edges, chips, gaps or overcrowding, it might be best to opt for a complete tooth transformation, rather than smaller tweakments, to drastically anti-age your smile.
If the teeth are suffering from various issues and the overall condition of the teeth are poor, sometimes the best option is to look at a full smile makeover, comprising several elements to enhance and fix your smile. The improvements that can be made are often dramatic, and can transform the way you look. This is a serious option in terms of treatment, including methods that are both extensive and expensive, taking months to complete. But if you are serious about overhauling your smile and if the condition of your teeth requires extensive treatment, this could be the best option for you. Discuss with your dentist what you hope to achieve and make a plan of action, but keep in mind that the results will be worth it – you can melt years away by showing off a set of healthy, pearly whites!
If you’re looking to anti-age your smile and need an Edinburgh dentist to help you out, give New Town Dental Care a call! Our friendly and knowledgeable team will be able to recommend the right treatments to take years off your smile.