Chips, cracks, stains and other signs of wear can add years to your face. Many of us are obsessive when it comes to our skin, noticing a wrinkle here and there or skin sagging, but most people don’t give their teeth the scrutiny they deserve.

A smile can show our age and many times can make us appear older. A beautiful bright smile with teeth that have the proper length and contour are a sign of youth and can give the appearance of health. Many people grind their teeth during their sleep and are totally unaware. Researchers are not exactly sure why people grind their teeth but point to several factors--stress, genetics, behavior and even a bad bite. Most people swear that they don’t grind, but often exhibit symptoms of their behavior. People that grind may get headaches, toothaches or have sore muscles in their face and neck. Dentists can also identify teeth grinders by the wear facets they leave on their teeth. If you have these wear patterns, you grind and chances are, that you are not going to stop. To protect your teeth from further wear, your dentist can make you a custom-made night guard. If you continue to grind without protection, your teeth will get shorter and shorter over the years. As teeth wear down, they don’t give the lips and facial skin the support these structures need, thus giving the aged appearance that most people detest.

So, how can you look younger almost overnight?

One of the earliest changes that occur in an aging smile is the color of the teeth. As we age, teeth not only pick up color from coffee, tea, and smoking, but also many of the foods we eat can cause our teeth to yellow over time. Teeth whitening is a simple procedure that can create a youthful smile. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, bleaching is the most requested dental cosmetic procedure.

As we age, there is a loss of facial height between the tip of the nose and the tip of our chin. One of the most powerful answers to a more youthful face can be as simple as having your cosmetic dentist evaluate you for porcelain veneers. By restoring the smile with veneers you can add millimeters to the face of your teeth, lengthen the teeth, which in turn can restore facial and lip support making you look 10 or 15 years younger.

If you are interested in looking younger, ask your cosmetic dentist to do a Smile Preview of what your face would look like with more youthful looking teeth. This simulation can often be done very quickly. Below is a simulation of what making longer teeth and increasing the vertical dimension of the face can do. This patient’s Preview was done at one of our Complimentary Smile Makeover Parties. He looks more than Ten Years Younger!!!