Round Lake Beach 847-546-5550 2 E Rollins Rd, Suite 202, Round Lake Beach, IL 60073

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Your Dentist in Round Lake – Keep Your Smile Beautiful as You Age

As practitioners of restorative dentistry in Round Lake Beach, we know that aging isn’t always pretty, and your mouth is certainly no exception. Until fairly recently, it was assumed that dentures were a virtual certainty as you age – but no longer.

Today, approximately three-quarters of individuals over 65 retain at least some of their natural teeth, but that said, older people suffer higher rates of gum disease, dental decay, oral cancer, mouth infections and tooth loss. While these problems cannot be completely eliminated, there are things you can do to keep your mouth healthy and your smile beautiful as you age.

Keep Your Smile Beautiful as You Age

Mouth and Smile Changes Over the Years

First, let’s examine the ways your mouth and smile change as you age:

  • Wearing down – Your teeth are strong but not indestructible, and all those years of chewing, grinding and shredding take their toll. All these actions wear down the enamel that coats your teeth, making them more susceptible to cracking and breaking.
  • Yellowing – Yellowing teeth, one of the least favorite side-effects of aging, is caused partially by the dentin inside your teeth showing through as the enamel wears down.
  • Shifting – Over the years your teeth may begin shifting and turning inward, due in part to the weakening of the bones in your upper and lower jaws.
  • Dry mouth – With age, the glands in your mouth produce less saliva, a situation that can be aggravated by the side-effects of certain medications. The lack of saliva can make chewing and swallowing more difficult and cause bad breath, while increasing the risk of bacterial growth, cavity formation, and tooth decay.
  • Oral cancer – Older people are at a much higher risk of developing cancers of the mouth, jaw, tongue, and throat, often due to prolonged use of tobacco products. Tobacco smoke and oral tobacco products – like snuff and chewing tobacco – are linked with cancers found in the cheeks, gums and inner surfaces of the lips

Keeping Your Smile Bright and Youthful

With these age-related effects in mind, here are five ways to help keep your smile youthful looking as the years pass:

Avoid food and drinks that stain – A simple rule of thumb to remember, if it will stain your carpet, it will stain your teeth. So, reduce your consumption of coffee, tea, red wine, dark sodas, and dark berries.

Monitor your gums closely – Receding gums are another sign of aging and can have a number of causes. Reduced bone density in your jaws is one factor and gingivitis can be another. Prolonged heavy brushing can also contribute to gums receding; and to avoid this, hold a traditional brush with your fingertips only or switch to an electric brush.

Whiten your teeth – Whitening your teeth can take years off of your appearance, and if your teeth and gums are basically healthy, an over-the-counter whitener may suffice. However, if you have sensitive teeth or they’re not as strong as they once were, you should schedule a professional whitening treatment.

Straighten your teeth – If your teeth have shifted, consider traditional braces, or if you’re not comfortable with those, ask your dentist about Invisalign, a more subtle alternative.

Consider veneers – Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that bond to your original teeth and can give you a bright and youthful smile that should last for the next 10 to 20 years with proper care.

Restorative Dentistry in Round Lake Beach

At Reilly & Siegel Family Dental, we want you to look and feel your best at every age. This means keeping your gums healthy and your smile bright and youthful. To find out how we can help, or to schedule your next appointment, we invite you to give us a call today.

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