Lancaster dentist Dr. Matthew Kingston tells baby boomers how to get a younger looking smile and maintain oral health as they age
Smiles and Your Health Topics: Baby Boomers: Regain that Youthful
Appearance and Retain Your Healthy Smile
Have you noticed that your face, mouth and teeth are showing their age more these days? Lancaster dentist Dr. Matthew Kingston shares some dental tips that may help you regain a youthful appearance and keep your teeth healthier, as well!
Like many parts of our bodies, our mouth and teeth also age. Old fillings break down, gum tissue is more at risk for gum disease, and gravity and the environment make our faces look older. But there is good news: there are some simple - and important - steps you can take to help maintain a youthful and healthy smile.
1. Whiten stained teeth.
Discolored, dark teeth make you look older. Most people's teeth naturally get darker as they age. Add to that years of drinking coffee, tea or even smoking and your teeth get stained.
One of the easiest ways to make your smile more youthful in appearance is by whitening your teeth. Whitening removes years of stain and makes your smile look younger.
2. Replace old fillings.
Fillings are meant to last for many years, but they do not last for a lifetime. In fact, as fillings age gaps open at the margin or edges of the fillings allowing saliva and bacteria to seep or "leak" under the filling. This can allow new decay to form under the fillings, weakening the surrounding tooth and potentially causing tooth fracture.
To avoid painful fractures or root canal treatment, Dr. Kingston will evaluate the health of your fillings. If they are "leaking", have them replaced with new, tooth-colored restorations or porcelain crowns. Your teeth will be healthier, and they will look more natural too.
3. Have a thorough periodontal (gum) exam.
Research has shown that gum disease can be extremely dangerous to your overall health. To prevent or control gum disease, you should see your dentist at least twice each year for routine cleanings. The Healthy Smiles Dental team will pay close attention to your gums when you come in for your cleaning and exam.
As we age, our gum tissue is more vulnerable to recession and infection. Your hygienist will check for pocketing around each tooth, and Dr. Kingston will advise you if interceptive treatment is needed. Checking for pocketing around each tooth helps keep close tabs on gum health, and interceptive treatment, such as a deep cleaning, local antibiotic placement, or more frequent cleanings, can be prescribed to help maintain gum and overall health.
4. Gravity is your enemy.
With age, our facial structure changes as well. Our upper lip droops and hangs lower and the corners of our mouth develop telltale wrinkles. When we smile, we show less of our teeth. If teeth have been lost, the cheek and face may look sunken in those areas. The result of all this sagging is that our face appears less youthful.
If this is a concern of yours, speak to Dr. Kingston about procedures that can be done to counteract these effects. Remolding teeth with porcelain veneers or crowns adds volume under the lips to fill in sunken areas and support the lips, giving a "fuller", more youthful appearance. For those with missing teeth, new dentures or dental implants can be effective in restructuring the facial volume.
If you would like more information about how Dr. Matthew Kingston can help you regain a more youthful smile, please call Healthy Smiles Dental (717) 945-7440 to set up an appointment for an initial visit or consultation. Browse our Healthy Smiles Dental website for more tips about how to improve your overall health by taking better care of your oral health.