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How to Maintain a Bright Healthy Smile as You Age

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We are all well aware that our bodies and health change with age.  However, many people are not aware that our teeth age just as our bodies do.  It becomes more and more difficult to keep our teeth white and bright as we get older.  The same proper brushing and flossing routine that patients have used for years, no longer successfully maintains a youthful smile.  In many cases, over-the-counter whitening treatments do not remove stains as they once did.

Dr. Kopfler and team at the Slidell LA Dentist see many patients who do not understand why their teeth are becoming more and more difficult to whiten.  They do not understand why their teeth have become dull and dingy.  There are many reasons why the appearance of dental enamel changes over the years.  Environmental factors are somewhat to blame; however the major contributor is the natural aging process.

Regular brushing and flossing removes some stains on the surface of dental enamel.  These types of stains are generally caused by discoloring foods and drinks such as blueberries, soda, coffee, tea, and red wine.  The use of tobacco products such as cigarettes can also make enamel appear dark, dull, and discolored.  These stains can often times be effectively removed or bleached away.  However, they may eventually seep into porous enamel making them difficult to remove.

A young person’s teeth are covered by a thick layer of white enamel which covers the inner core of the tooth.  Over time, this enamel begins to wear away which exposes more and more of the dentin beneath the surface.  By nature, dentin is darker and yellower in color than enamel.  Therefore older teeth appear dull and dark as compared to younger teeth.

Many teeth whitening options exist and vary based upon specific cosmetic factors.  Among these factors are the extent of discoloration, and the time frame in which results are desired.  A solution of hydrogen peroxide which was developed to lighten teeth is an option that many patients respond well to.  Those patients with extensive or resistant staining may turn to dental veneers, which completely resurface dental enamel by use of ultra thin layers of porcelain which are attached to the teeth.  

It’s impossible to eliminate all dental staining.  It’s certain that teeth will accumulate environmental stains, and it’s only natural for them to lose some of their luster over time.  The good news is that modern cosmetic dentistry can restore the bright and luminous nature of the teeth.  The results are more youthful and desirable looking smile.  For more information on what our team can do for you, call the Dental Clinic Slidell, Louisiana to discuss your situation in greater detail!  

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