In recent years, there have been significant advancements in the field of cosmetic dentistry and there is no doubt that many people born in this generation will never have to deal with the dental challenges that were common for so many years. Unfortunately, it is easy for older individuals to feel that their options are to wear dentures or to never smile for photos again - as if a healthy smile is no longer an option for them. If you have delayed improving your smile, it is important to learn about some typical causes of stained teeth and what your choices are to improve your smile.
Understanding Your Discolored Teeth
There are three categories of discolored teeth. Unfortunately, as a senior citizen, your smile may have been impacted by age-related dental discoloration.
It can be caused by several different factors, including:
- Thin layers of enamel overtine, which makes the teeth look yellow
- Dental staining, due to a lifetime of exposure to foods, beverages or tobacco products that discolor the teeth
- Previous damage that was not properly cared for at the time it occurred
Understand Your At Home Options
It is first important to understand that many of the treatments you can access at home will no longer be appropriate or useful for severely stained teeth. As mentioned above, as a senior citizen, you may have experienced a thinning of the enamel of your teeth. If that has happened, the whitening strips and bleaching kits that are commonly used at home without the professional assistance of a dental professional could aggravate your oral health concerns.
Specifically, the damaged enamel could worsen and sensitivity of the teeth and gums has also been reported. However, whitening toothpastes are often still a safe and helpful way to improve the color of your teeth, so ask at your next dental appointment. Hopefully, that visit will be with a cosmetic dentist who is experienced with treating the unique challenges of older patients.
Consider What Your Dentist Can Provide
Your cosmetic dentist may suggest bonding, which involves the application of a resin that matches your preferred tooth color and improves your smile in as little as a single visit. The results do not always last as long as veneers, but are less expensive and easier to get.
If you have the desire for perfectly white teeth and the time and financial means to get them, veneers are also possible. They are tiny pieces of perfectly sculpted tooth-shaped covers made of resin or porcelain. They are attached to the front of your teeth and provide the perfect, white smile that everyone wants.
In conclusion, cosmetic dentistry is not just for young people and it is never too late to want a healthy smile. If you are tired of talking through your hands or only smiling with a closed mouth, it is a good time to speak with your cosmetic dentist about scheduling the procedures that you need to give you the smile you have wanted for years.