5 Ways Your Smile Can Change As You AgeSeptember 29, 2021 9:45 pm
As you get older, your smile changes. Some things are normal, while other problems are more serious. No matter what happens, there are dental services and treatments available to help keep your smile in great shape.
Here are five ways your smile can change as you get older:
- Thinning Enamel
- Dry Mouth
- Oral Cancer
- Shifting Teeth
Your teeth are very strong thanks to the protective layer of enamel. As you age, this enamel thins with everyday eating and drinking. Weakened enamel has a higher chance of cracking and breaking. While you can’t avoid normal wear and tear, you can protect your enamel from accelerated damage with daily brushing and flossing, visiting the dentist for cleanings and exams, and wearing a nightguard if you grind your teeth.
Smoking and beverages like coffee, wine, and tea often cause teeth discoloration. Additionally, the layer beneath your enamel, called dentin, has a yellow color that can show through as your enamel thins. You can address yellowing teeth with over-the-counter products or professional teeth whitening. Please talk to your dentist before choosing a product.
Your saliva glands produce less saliva as you get older. Certain medications can also cause dry mouth. Your risk of tooth decay increases with dry mouth. Drinking more water, chewing sugar-free gum, using mouthrinses specially formulated for dry mouth, and drinking less caffeine and alcohol can combat this issue.
Older people are at a higher risk of mouth cancer, tongue cancer, jaw cancer, and throat cancer. Keeping up with regular screenings is essential. When caught early, treatment is much easier. Warning signs include sores that won’t heal, red or white patches, and changes in your lips, gums, tongue, and the inside of your cheeks.
As you get older, your teeth can shift due to gum disease, trauma, a weakened jawbone, and/or lost teeth. Fortunately, orthodontics like braces and Invisalign® can fix crooked teeth and gaps. A straighter smile can help you look and feel years younger!
Our board-certified orthodontists are excited to serve patients starting at age 7 to fix misalignment and teeth that have shifted as you have gotten older. Please know that you are never too old for orthodontics!
Your treatment plan will be custom-designed to meet your specific needs. We recommend treating any dental disease with your dentist before starting orthodontic treatment. If you have any questions about misalignment in your smile, please contact us to schedule a free consultation at Laredo Orthodontics!