When you think of things that will make you look younger, are wrinkle creams and hair dyes the first things that you think of? The truth is, while there are many things you can do to keep yourself looking younger, one of the best places to start is with your smile. Your smile is often the first thing people notice about you, and it absolutely can betray your age. However, there are some dental procedures that can reverse the smile aging process and give your whole face a younger appearance.
One cup of coffee won't irreparably stain your teeth, but a lifetime of coffee – not to mention other tooth-staining substances, like wine, tea, cola, berries, and soy sauce – will eventually add up to some noticeable discoloration. And the older you are, the more stains you've had time to accumulate, which is why yellowed teeth make your face look older.
Luckily, there's an easy fix for stained teeth. You have a variety of tooth whitening options available, from toothpastes and gels that you can pick up at your local drugstore to high-tech laser treatments in your dentist's office. Typically, treatments that you do at home are less expensive, but take longer to produce dramatic results. Treatments that you get from your dentist are more expensive and time consuming, but they can also produce the result you're looking for in fewer treatments than you would need to do at home.
Gingival contouring, or gum contouring, is a type of gum surgery. The purpose of the surgery is to reshape gum tissue when the gums are uneven or too high or low. It's a minimally invasive procedure that is often performed with a laser.
What does this have to do with looking younger? As you age, your gums tend to recede, moving to a higher point and making your teeth look longer. Have you ever heard the expression "long in the tooth" to describe an older person? Gum contouring surgery can restore your gums to a lower point and make your teeth appear shorter and can keep your smile appearing younger.
For some people, the teeth develop multiple cosmetic issues as time goes on. You may have chips on some teeth and stains on others. You may have a gap between two teeth that's widened over the years. You may have uneven or jagged teeth. When you have all of this going on at once, your teeth are like a timeline, showing evidence of various habits and events in your life that caused the damage.
Porcelain veneers are a cure-all for teeth with multiple cosmetic problems. Your dentist files down your natural teeth, affixes the veneers over the top of them, and presto – you instantly have teeth that are white, bright, straight, even, and perfectly spaced. If you want to get rid of any possible signs of age in your smile, veneers are the perfect choice. In fact, if you take incredible care of your veneers, they can actually last you a lifetime. If you drink alcohol or like to bite your nails (or other hard objects), you can dissolve the bonding agent or chip the veneers, so get those habits under control before undergoing this procedure.
Once your teeth are whiter, shorter looking, or covered with dazzling veneers, you should feel no qualms about flashing your smile everywhere that you go. And a happy, bright smile will definitely make you appear years younger.