The process of aging can cause stained and yellowing teeth, as well as crooked teeth. These changes may lead to poor self-esteem. You may find yourself hiding your smile due to feeling embarrassed by stained or poorly aligned teeth. Fortunately, dental care treatments are available that can give you a smile you will be proud of.
Eliminating stained or yellowing teeth
Bleaching treatments can reduce or eliminate tooth discoloration. These treatments can be applied by your dentist or at home. You should never attempt an at-home bleaching without a visit to your dentist for an evaluation. Prior to bleaching, it is essential that you have good oral health and are free of cavities and gum disease. All plaque must be removed from the teeth in order to achieve good results with bleaching. Plaque can be removed by a professional dental cleaning.
Your dentist can recommend a bleaching program that is safe and effective for you. Some formulas available for purchase online may be too acidic. Too much acidity can harm the tooth enamel.
A bleaching gel is placed in a custom-fitted tray that is held over the teeth with minimal contact with gum tissue. These trays are typically worn for several hours a day over the course of a few weeks. Only your dentist can determine the correct procedure and length of treatment for your specific condition.
Other smile-enhancing treatments
Laser bleaching and other bleaching techniques done by your dentist are useful for stubborn stains. A rubber dam is used to protect the gum tissue while powerful bleaching agents are applied to the surface of the teeth. A source of heat is applied for a short period of time and fast results are obtained.
Cosmetic contouring is useful for rounding off the edges of the teeth to make them even. Bonding material can be applied to fill in unsightly gaps between teeth. Porcelain veneers are an excellent option and work well on even the most stubborn stains and discolored teeth.
Straightening crooked teeth
It is not uncommon to have lost a few teeth by the time you reach your senior years. Neglecting to have missing teeth replaced by a bridge or partial denture can cause the jaw to become misaligned over time. When a tooth is lost, the remaining teeth may shift into the open space. This causes uneven teeth and can result in jaw discomfort and a bite that is off.
It's never too late to correct a poor bite or crooked teeth. Braces are not just for teenagers. More seniors are turning to braces to straighten their teeth with great results. New technologies in design make it possible to have braces that are nearly invisible and are easy to maintain.
The process of straightening the teeth may take a little longer in seniors than in younger adults due to the fact that the bones are no longer growing. Fortunately, the end results are favorable for adult seniors.
Your dentist can determine if you are a good candidate for braces and make the proper referral to an orthodontist. You will be evaluated for signs of periodontal disease or loose teeth that may be a contraindication for getting braces. However, most seniors are great candidates for braces.
The aging process can cause changes in tooth color and alignment. However, with new advances in technology and treatments, these embarrassing changes can be a thing of the past. Investing in a healthy smile will boost your confidence, make you feel great, and keep you smiling throughout your senior years.