Two Ways Your Teeth Might Be Aging Your Face

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Unhappy with the way your smile looks, but having trouble figuring out why? Perhaps try taking a closer look at the shape of your teeth. They could be affecting your smile and even aging you. The good news is if the shape of your teeth doesn't suit you, the problem is easy to correct. Here are two sneaky ways your teeth can age you and how to fix it.

Some teeth have blunt edges that may not flatter the shape of your face. As the teeth age, “they lose their soft edges and become shorter, more even and flat around the edges, which can make your smile look older,” says Palm Desert, CA, cosmetic dentist René Dell'Acqua, DDS. “To counteract this effect, I like to keep female teeth round and soft on the biting edges, and without sharp angles [when shaping existing teeth or creating veneers or crowns].”

Blunt edges are often the result of how enamel naturally wears over time. Grinding them can worsen the issue. Talk to your cosmetic dentist about identifying the root cause of your enamel loss. A simple solution is to shape the existing teeth by filing the edges, a process known as tooth contouring, says Dunedin, FL, cosmetic dentist H. Mikel Hopkins, DDS. Rounding the edges of the teeth, especially on women, makes the smile more youthful and gender appropriate.

Chips and cracks in the teeth can draw attention to flaws. “The teeth become more brittle with age,” Dr. Hopkins says. “Small chips and fracture lines appear, and these are more easily stained, giving an aged appearance.”

To prevent chips and cracks, avoid chewing ice and using your teeth as tools to rip open something you can't tear by hand. Depending on the size of the chips, dental bonding can be a great tool for restoring them. During the process, the teeth are primed with a conditioning solution before your dentist sculpts tooth-colored resin on the teeth that is then hardened in place with a special light.

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