No matter how regularly you attend the dentist and how good your oral hygiene routine is in between, just living life and getting older is going to affect your smile.
Overtime your teeth get discoloured, the enamel starts to wear down and they become shorter. For every decade of your life, your teeth will get one or two shades darker. Also, teeth may move, get crooked or become misaligned and your gums may begin to recede. All these factors together can cause your smile to become less attractive and increase your risk of developing cavities.
Tips for Babies and Toddlers
It is never too early to start caring for your baby’s teeth. You should start to brush teeth as soon as they appear using a smear of fluoride toothpaste and a soft toothbrush. It is also important to build the habit of regular dental appointments from the time their first tooth comes through. This can help to build routines that will last a lifetime and reduces the risk of dental anxiety developing.
Tips for Teens
Dental decay and gum disease are the two main risk to a teen’s smile. To maintain their smile it is important that teens brush their teeth twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste, use interdental cleaning aids daily and attend for regular routine dental appointments as often as the dentist recommends. They should also refrain from smoking or chewing tobacco and wear a mouth guard if participating in sports activities that could harm the mouth.
Tips for Twenties and Thirties
By the time you get to your twenties and thirties it is even more important to be aware how foods and drinks can have a negative effect on your smile. Sodas, fruit drinks, sugary snacks, and even citrus fruits and tomatoes can soften tooth enamel and increase the risk of tooth decay. It is also important to be careful about the number of stain-causing beverages you drink, such as red wine and coffee, since they can cause discoloration.
Tips for Forties
This is a good time to have your dentist check any old fillings if you’ve had them for 15 or 20 years, fillings will not last for ever and over time they can deteriorate, increasing the risk of further decay. It is also during the forties when many people become aware of their teeth changing colour and darkening. The forties are an ideal age to use teeth whitening to rejuvenate the colour of your teeth, returning them to what it was in your twenties.
Tips for Fifties
In your fifties your mouth will begin to produce less saliva so your dentist may recommend drinking more water or chewing sugarless gum to stimulate saliva production and avoid dry mouth side effects like soreness, problems chewing and swallowing, and tooth decay. For women, hormonal changes that occur with the onset of menopause can increase susceptibility to gum disease. Numerous studies have shown a strong link between gum disease and serious conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, so it is especially important to mind your gum health throughout this decade.
Tips for Sixties and beyond The colour of the teeth becomes even darker in your sixties and beyond, and since the stains are now deeply embedded in the tooth structure, this means you may require more teeth whitening sessions than a younger person to get the same results. The teeth may also begin to move slightly and rotate at this age, creating overlapping and spacing between the teeth.