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A healthy diet, plenty of rest, a good skin care routine and exercise all play an important part in staying vibrant and youthful.  A big secret that is often overlooked in the fight to stay young however lies in a person’s teeth.   A smile is one of the first things people notice about one another.  In fact, in a poll conducted by Harris Interactive 94% of those asked said that they are likely to see a person’s smile when they meet them for the first time.   

With age, our teeth can become yellowed or discolored.  They chip, crack and begin to show wear.  Along with this, we start to see faces shorten,  chins move, marionette lines in the corners of the mouth, wrinkles, and loss of volume in the cheeks.  These changes occur due to the aging process and can make you seem older than you feel.  The good news is that many of these factors improve in part through dentistry.  Cosmetic and reconstructive dentistry play a significant role in overall health and can aid in the process of looking and feeling younger.

When people tell me they are thinking of cosmetic procedures such as facelifts or fillers I always ask them to consider evaluating their teeth first.  In some cases doing simple dental procedures can make a person look years younger.  In other situations, more reconstructive dental work may need to be done to restore a person to a more youthful version of their former selves.  The great part about investing in dentistry is that it does not wear off after three months like botox.  It provides structural support and has other benefits such as better oral health and aids in better chewing to promote better digestion.  It is an overall great investment and should be the first thing to consider when thinking about cosmetic procedures. 

So what can be done to improve your smile?  Below is a list of some of the simple changes to some of the more complex. 

Whiten teeth

Let’s face it; teeth go through a lot over the course of a person’s lifetime.  Tea, coffee, wine, smoking and just straight out neglect can discolor and age the appearance of teeth.  The use of teeth whiteners can be used to restore teeth to a more vibrant and lighter color.

Veneers 

Veneers, when done by the right dentist and laboratory can be one of the most conservative restorative procedures.  Veneers offer a more long term solution to whitening teeth, but they also help to aid in correcting imperfections, alignment, closing spaces, providing length and symmetry.  In some cases, they can also contribute to providing support to the lips.

Implants

If you have missing teeth, this plays a big part in aging your face.  The roots of your teeth stimulate the bone in your jaw.  If teeth are missing the stimulation is gone, and bone loss occurs.  As a result, cheeks begin to sink in making you seem older than you are.  Also, the loss of a tooth causes other teeth to move which can create more damage as the mouth becomes increasingly dysfunctional.   The longer one goes without taking care of missing teeth the more expensive the situation can become. Dental implants are an excellent way to combat tooth loss.

Restoring the Mouth

In some cases, a more comprehensive approach may need consideration.  In cases where the answers might not be so straightforward, more types of procedures may need to be incorporated to bring about the best results.  These procedures might include a combination of options such as veneers, crowns, and implants.  This type of work, when done with the right dental team, can help bring back the mouth to not only a youthful appearance but also can contribute to providing some of the structural support that we lose as we age.

Determining where to start may be a daunting idea.  Have your mouth evaluated by a knowledgeable dental team and see what options are available to you.  When considering cosmetic procedures considering your smile is one of the best investments toward looking and feeling younger.

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