With so much focus on anti-aging measures, it’s surprising that many people overlook their smiles. From crooked teeth and discoloration to tooth loss, no amount of anti-aging treatments will disguise a worn, aged smile. “Loss of teeth or worn teeth affect the depth of a person’s bite, and can result in collapsed lips, hollow-looking cheeks, and often even wrinkles in facial skin,” says Powell, OH, cosmetic dentist Neal Patel, DDS. Fixing even the most simple of smile issues will instantly give you a more youthful appearance.
It’s All About Symmetry
According to Dr. Patel, while every person’s “ideal” is different, there are basic standards to create a balanced smile. “Teeth that are symmetrical on the right and left side, and appropriately proportionate in size, serve as lip and cheek support,” he says. To fix crooked teeth, try traditional braces or Invisalign. Over time, these treatments will move your teeth into a straight position. If misshapen teeth are your issue, ask your cosmetic dentist about tooth contouring. Sometimes simply refining the edges of your teeth are all you need for a noticeably more-balanced smile.
Keep Your Teeth as White as Possible
Brushing twice a day (and after eating or drinking), flossing and keeping up with regular professional cleanings are fundamental in the prevention of yellowing teeth. However, as Dr. Patel explains, as we age, the outer layer of tooth enamel begins to wear away, revealing the natural yellowish hue of the tissue found underneath. “In addition, crooked teeth often create shadows and uneven lines that can take away from the brightness in tooth color.” Depending on how dramatic your teeth-whitening needs are, at-home or professional treatments are recommended to achieve and maintain a bright smile.
Correct Any Tooth Loss
“An unsightly gap may be the first noticeable result of tooth loss, but aesthetics are actually the least significant problems associated with missing teeth,” warns Dr. Patel. “When a tooth is lost, there is a lack of stimulation to the jawbone that would exist daily as the teeth make contact with each other and pocket in the jaw where they sit. That stimulation causes the bone of the jaw to rebuild continually. Without that stimulation, the bone recedes and the gums with it. The ability to chew and speak can be impaired, and other teeth can loosen, becoming prone to infection and additional tooth loss.” Aesthetically, tooth loss may result in sagging and wrinkling of skin due to the collapse of the facial structure. To stop or reverse any damage from tooth loss, see your board-certified dentist as early as possible. The most common way to correct tooth loss is with dental implants, a permanent surgical solution.
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