Understanding your 'aged smile' and how it can be improved
"The aged smile," writes Toronto cosmetic dentist Ed Philips in his new book, Your Guide To The Perfect Smile, is "the most frequent problem reported by patients."
"They often complain that their teeth no longer have the appearance they did when they were younger - that they seem to be worn and discoloured"
The discoloration from aging and staining is in most cases easily treated with whiteners, either at home or professionally by a dentist.
A bigger problem than discoloration is the tendency of teeth to wear down, and it's especially noticeable in the two front upper teeth, says Philips.
"When they're perfect in a 25-year old. they're 25 per cent longer than they are wide. But at the age of 50, someone will have lost 25 per cent of the length of the two front teeth."
"When your teeth are wearing down, you lose support between the nose and mouth and it causes creases along the lips and lips start to get thinner."
His book is a step-by-step guide,to analyzing smiles and the techniques to improve them. ($79.95, ecwpress.com)
Improving the smiles and altering the teeth of aging boomers isn't just a cosmetic issue. If s a health issue.
"When teeth start to wear down, very often they start hitting in certain spots and grinding in a certain way," says Philips, "and this heavy loading stresses the roots and gums begin to recede."
He says that teeth, throughout one's lifetime, "are shifting and drifting and some of what we thought was gum disease was really a bite that needed to be readjusted."
Philips says you're never too old to improve your smile. "I did veneers on an octogenarian," he boasts.