Insightful and informative dentist blog, covering a wide range of dental topics alongside new treatment & clinic announcements.
None of us like getting older, but we have to put up with it. The ageing process affects all parts of the body, including the teeth, but the good news is that, with modern dentistry, there are plenty of options. In this blog, we look at how age affects your oral health, and what you can do about it.
How do teeth change with age?
As you get older, your teeth get weaker and your gums will recede. If you’ve heard of the phrase getting ‘long in the tooth’, this is what it refers to – as your gums recede, your teeth will look longer. Unfortunately this means there’s more root showing of each tooth, leaving them more vulnerable to tooth decay.
Your teeth will also be subject to wear and tear. Fillings will eventually need replacing, and it’s more likely that your teeth will suffer from accidental damage. If you’re prone to grinding your teeth, you will already be eroding the enamel – the longer you leave it, the more likely it is that you’ll wear down the teeth, so start using a mouth guard to reduce the amount of damage.
It isn’t just the health of your teeth that changes as you age, it is also their appearance. And this is why people turn to cosmetic dentistry.
What is cosmetic dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is the art (and science) of creating the kind of beautiful smile you’ll be proud to show the world. It is an umbrella term for a variety of treatments that will make your teeth straighter, smoother and whiter, which in turn makes you look healthier and younger. Of course, in order for these treatments to succeed, it is necessary for you to have good oral health first, and making improvements to your oral health will also contribute towards ensuring your teeth and gums are in the best condition possible.
The most popular cosmetic treatments are teeth straightening, teeth whitening and veneers. As we age, our teeth are more likely to become discoloured, principally because of food and drink. We love our tea and coffee, both of which stain our teeth, as do colas, red wine, tomato-based sauces, curries, balsamic vinegar and soy sauce. So the older you get, the darker the staining, which is why having whiter teeth helps you look younger.
What is a dental implant?
You are much more likely to lose teeth as you get older, whether it’s through poor oral hygiene or accidental damage. In the past, your only option would be to do nothing and have a gap, or to get dentures. These days, however, dental implants can provide the ideal solution.
A dental implant is a false tooth that’s fixed to your jaw via a titanium implant that is permanently screwed into your jaw. Your implant/s will fit in seamlessly with your natural teeth and, unlike dentures, won’t need taking out at night!
Fight the ageing process
Prevention is always better than cure, and taking steps to maintain good oral care will help prevent dental decay and keep your teeth healthier for longer. This means it’s imperative to look after your teeth properly and go for regular dental checkups.
How often should you go to the dentist?
We advise booking dental checks every six months. Your dentist will check for early signs of tooth decay as well as checking your overall oral health. You should also book a scale and polish at the same time, which involves the removal of any build-up of plaque and tartar from your teeth, followed by a polish to remove marks and stains.
Are you cleaning your teeth properly?
Dental care is important. We were taught how to clean our teeth when we were children, but it’s easy to fall into different habits, and you may have developed a less effective regime. Brushing your teeth twice a day is an important step in maintaining good oral hygiene, but are you still doing it properly? Check out Dentaly.org’s Detailed Guide to Brushing Teeth to make sure you’re on the right track or talk to your dentist or hygienist.
If you would like to discuss how we can help keep your smile youthful and bright, get in touch with our team of friendly specialists today.