Six Ways Your Dentist Can Make You Look Younger

Teeth don't get wrinkles, but they definitely show signs of aging. Here are your options for a younger-looking smile as well as how to slow down the aging process of the teeth.

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Hi, I’m Dr. B, practicing functional dentist for 35 years. I graduated from the Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco, CA in 1987 and am a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM), Academy of General Dentistry (Chicago, IL), American Academy for Oral Systemic Health (AAOSH), and Dental Board of California. I'm on a mission to empower people everywhere with the same evidence-based, easy-to-understand dental health advice that my patients get. Learn more about Dr. B

Teeth don’t get wrinkles, but they definitely show signs of aging. 50% of people say that a smile is the first facial feature they notice in someone. So if you want to look younger and healthier, your teeth are a great place to start! Brush after every meal, floss daily, and see your dentist every six months for a check up and cleaning. But even the best preventative measures can’t prevent the natural aging process of the teeth – and this is where your dentist can take 10 to 15 years off your appearance.

Here’s how to improve your daily oral care and to work with your dentist to make your entire appearance more youthful. Best of all, it’s cheaper, safer, and looks more realistic than plastic surgery!

Whiten Your Teeth

Just as the whites of your eyes suggest youthfulness, a set of shiny white choppers makes your whole face look younger.

Teeth naturally darken as we age for two reasons. One, teeth darken because they absorb color from food and drinks. This can nearly be arrested by brushing after every meal and drink.

Two, teeth yellow as we age regardless of the color they absorb from foods. This is why the teeth whitening process doesn’t appear “permanent.” The whitening itself is permanent, but as the teeth continue to yellow as they age, whitening needs to be repeated.

Even if you take fantastic care of your teeth, they will yellow. Whitening them with custom whitening trays is the best way to achieve a deep and thorough color change that can take years off your appearance.

Straighten Your Teeth

Even if you start out with perfectly straight teeth, something called mesial drift will cause them to shift over time.

Crowded teeth are an instant giveaway of age and straightening your teeth can sometimes take 10 to 15 years off your appearance.

Crowded teeth also increase the risk of tooth decay, premature tooth loss, and gum recession, all of which guarantee looking old, not to mention requiring costly dental work.

Trade In Your Silver For Plastic or Porcelain

Nothing gives away your age like a mouth of silver; opt for plastic or porcelain fillings.

Disease-Proof Your Mouth

Brushing after every meal and flossing daily are your best defense against old-looking teeth. See your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning and check up to make sure you are retaining gum height.

Skipping the floss? Flossing is imperative to a youthful smile. Here’s why: neglecting to floss leaves little bits of food in between your teeth. This food causes inflammation of the gums. This inflammation progresses into gingivitis (gum disease), which causes gum recession, premature tooth loss, and even heart disease!

Use a Night Guard

Old-looking teeth have wear and tear. A night guard is a two-fer in keeping your teeth looking young: it prevents crowding by keeping teeth in place while you wear it at night and it decreases the wear and tear you put on your teeth.

While we sleep, we gnash and grind our teeth. A night guard can protect your teeth from this damage and keep your teeth looking more youthful. A lifetime of wearing a night guard is similar to the effects of sunblock in this regard.

You won’t notice the abuse to your teeth in your twenties and thirties, but in your forties and beyond, it’ll begin to show.

Having a youthful smile is much more than looks. Entering your golden years with a healthy mouth will save you a lot of pain!

Mark Burhenne DDS

Learn More: Functional Dentistry: Everything You Need to Know