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Aging and Dental Care (Part One)

Dental care is important throughout life because we keep our adult teeth for many decades — sometimes a long as 90 years or more! But how exactly does aging affect teeth and what are common problems seen as we age? And what can be done to stop the hands of time from negatively impacting our oral health?

The first in our series of blogs about aging and dental health covers shifting teeth, and what can be done to correct the problem.

Shifting Teeth

Teeth have memory in their fibers, so no matter what kind of orthodontic work you may have had, they will try and slip right back into their original positions as soon as the braces or retainers come off. Even those with naturally straight teeth are at risk of them shifting, as fillings and crowns can cause crowding, while chewing and clenching wear teeth down and can change their positioning.

The only way to prevent shifting teeth is by wearing a retainer or mouth guard every night for the rest of your life (yikes!). Brushing and flossing can help ward off cavities and the need for fillings, but the fact is that all teeth shift over time.

If your teeth have become misaligned in such a way as to cause you embarrassment, know that there are options that are more inconspicuous than the dreaded braces to get them back into place. Talk to your dentist about new products such as Invisalign, clear aligners you wear for about a year, and are just about unnoticeable to those around you.

Besides systems like Invisalign, there are cosmetic procedures such as porcelain veneers and newer products such as Lumineers. Lumineers can give you a flawless smile without the discomfort of traditional dental veneers. Additionally, inlays and onlays, composite bonding, and even dental implants can all help you achieve a smile you love.

Your teeth are one of the first things people notice, and can make you look older or younger, depending on many different factors, such as genetics and how well you care for them. If you’d like to improve your smile, give our Ann Arbor dental practice a call today and make an appointment for a free consultation. Let us help you attain the smile of your dreams!

— Dr. Shannon Norman-Kotre, Ann Arbor Dentist


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