Your face is often the first place where signs of aging show up. Anti-aging dentistry, however, can improve the look and health of your smile and take years off your face. Don't be like the Empress Josephine (wife of Emperor Napoleon I) who reputedly developed her closed mouth smile because of her bad teeth. Here's what a cosmetic dentist can do for your smile.
How Aging Affects the Face
Genetics certainly plays a role in how you will look as you get older, while lifestyle and habits also make a difference. No matter how healthy you are, though, the collagen in your skin and tissues will eventually begin to deteriorate. Collagen is what provides support and structure to the skin, so its loss leads to fine lines, wrinkles and skin that begins to sag. Many people begin to have trouble with receding gums as well as receding hairlines. Over the years, teeth can wear, become stained or develop yellow or greyish tones. Missing teeth can cause what's known as facial collapse, as the mouth and cheeks sag inward. Your immune system also becomes weaker as you age, so the risk of infections from tooth decay or gum disease is higher.
Anti-Aging Dentistry for Your Health
Anti aging dentistry has two goals. The first and most important is to improve your oral health, the second is to improve your appearance. Regular preventive care is part of the anti aging treatment, so keep up with flossing and brushing and see your dentist twice a year for professional cleaning and an exam. Even “cosmetic” treatments like implants and orthodontia are really designed to improve the health of your teeth, jaw and gums. Some anti aging treatments may also have unexpected benefits that can help you look younger and more vibrant. Treating bruxism (teeth grinding) for example, can allow you to sleep better and look more rested.
Anti-Aging Dentistry Treatments
Teeth whitening is really the only anti aging dental treatment that is purely cosmetic. There's no question that whiter teeth help you look younger; just look at how white children's teeth are. Professional whitening is much more effective than anything you buy over the counter. You can have your teeth whitened in the office or get a take-home kit.
Veneers are another treatment that is primarily cosmetic, although they can also help build up the structure of the teeth. Veneers can have anti-aging effects because they cover stained, chipped and cracked teeth and can make them look straighter. Veneers can be matched to your natural teeth or made much lighter, achieving the same effect as whitening.
Solving the problem of missing teeth is probably at the top of the list for making you look younger and also improving your oral health. Missing teeth make you look older because your cheeks and jaw lose support; they also increase the effects of wrinkles around the mouth and lips for the same reason. A single missing tooth can cause other teeth to shift or wear unevenly, but multiple missing teeth result in deterioration of the jawbone. Your jawbone gets its “exercise” when you chew – the force you exert promotes good bone development. The All on 4 implant can replace those missing teeth, improve your smile and your oral health.
In addition to technical skill and state of the art techniques and equipment, it's important that anti-aging dentistry treatments include the aesthetics of your face. Part of what a cosmetic dentist will do is develop a cosmetic treatment plan that takes all of these factors into account. Please contact your local cosmetic dentist for more information about anti-aging dental treatments that can give you the youthful smile of your dreams!