Your teeth can betray your age.

When you’re young, aging is exciting; each birthday brings new opportunities, responsibilities, and experiences. As we get older, however, we begin to dread the signs of aging. Whether you’re 30 or nearing a time in your life where you can brag about your age, you’ve probably tried to slow or reverse the aging process. However, many people don’t consider the fact that teeth age along with the rest of your body. Worn or stained teeth can betray your age, making you look older than you actually are. Thankfully, the opposite is also true; having a beautiful, white smile tends to make you look years younger. No matter your age, there are several dental treatments that could help you fight the aging process and appear younger.

Here are several tools your dentist can use to help you turn back the clock.

1. Whitening

Even if you’re still young, you have likely noticed that your teeth aren’t as white as they used to be; they might even be noticeably yellow-tinged. Over time, your teeth accumulate stains from certain foods and drinks, like marinara sauce, coffee, and red wine. Unfortunately, yellow teeth can add years to an otherwise youthful face. While you can fight stains at home using homemade or over-the-counter products, these methods aren’t the safest or most effective way to whiten your teeth. At-home remedies can do more harm than good, as many suggest putting acidic or abrasive substances on your teeth that can damage your enamel over time. Over-the-counter products can irritate your gums and don’t mold well to your teeth, which can prevent you from getting an evenly white smile. Plus, these methods simply aren’t as effective as professional dental treatments for whitening teeth.

In contrast, an hour-long professional whitening treatment at our office can whiten your teeth dramatically—an average of eight shades whiter! You can also whiten your teeth at home using a prescription-strength whitening gel and a custom-made dental tray, which protects your sensitive gums and ensures that every nook and cranny of your teeth gets whitened. These dental treatments for tooth whitening are safe and effective, but you’ll be stunned by how such a simple change can transform your appearance.

2. Veneers

This is a versatile treatment that can repair a single tooth or transform your entire smile. Veneers are an effective and long-lasting way to gain a white, even smile that’ll help you look years younger. You can receive veneers to cover stains that teeth whitening treatments can’t remove, such as stains caused by enamel erosion or childhood trauma. Veneers can also remedy the appearance of teeth that are cooked, misaligned, cracked, or chipped. They’re made from a durable porcelain material that’s indistinguishable from natural teeth; this, along with your ability to choose the color, shape, and size of your veneers, ensures that you’ll love your revitalized smile.

If you take care of your veneers and practice great oral hygiene, including flossing and using mouthwash, they can last about 15 years before they need to be replaced. Veneers can completely transform your smile, but the procedure is irreversible, so it’s important to discuss all of your options with Dr. Allred before you make a final decision about what treatment option is right for you.

3. Crowns

Unfortunately, damaged or crooked teeth can sometimes be the most prominent aspect of your smile, even if the rest of your smile is straight and even. Porcelain crowns can be used to restore and protect teeth that have been worn down or severely damaged due to decay or injury. They can also offer a quick alternative to orthodontic treatment if you have one or two teeth that are too crooked to be corrected by veneers.

Crowns achieve this by fitting over your natural tooth like a cap, which allows them to transform the appearance of the tooth and protect and restore the function of weakened or damaged teeth. In order to place the crown, however, a good portion of your natural tooth needs to be shaved down, so once you get a crown, you’ll always need it. Much like veneers, they’re durable and stain-resistant, lasting around 15 years with great oral hygiene, and you’re able to choose the shape, size, and color of your crown to ensure it will blend in with your smile perfectly.

4. Bonding

Dental bonding is a quick, easy, and inexpensive treatment that’s often misunderstood as looking fake or not lasting very long. While it’s true that bonding doesn’t last as long as dental treatments like veneers or crowns, they can match the gloss and color of your natural teeth and actually last a good chunk of time—up to 10 years—if you take care of them by implementing a  good oral hygiene routine. Additionally, bonding can actually resolve many of the issues veneers can, such as mending chips or cracks in your teeth, covering stains, whitening your teeth, and even changing their shape. The biggest disadvantage of dental bonding, however, is that the bonding resin doesn’t resist stains as well as porcelain veneers or crowns, so great oral hygiene is even more important if you choose to receive dental bonding. If you neglect their care, they may need to be replaced in as little as three years. Despite this, even small repairs or changes to the shape of your teeth can completely transform your smile, helping you feel more confident and look more youthful.

5. Straightening

While orthodontists recommend people straighten their teeth as children for the best results, you can successfully straighten your teeth at any age. Straightening a misaligned bite can improve your smile and your self-confidence, but it may also reduce headaches or jaw pain caused by a misaligned bite. Even if you have had perfectly straight teeth for years, your teeth begin to shift as you age due to wear and tear; most commonly, your teeth may begin to angle inward, which makes them look shorter and can cause the skin of your mouth to look a little loose and wrinkly. Orthodontic treatments can help realign your teeth, so they’re straight and upright, filling out your face and making your smile appear even and youthful again.

Although no one can stop the aging process completely, you and Dr. Allred can take steps to help retain or regain your youthful smile. No matter your age, you’ll be surprised at how many years even a few small changes will take off of your face and how much self-confidence you’ll gain as a result. If you’re interested in working with Dr. Allred to revitalize your smile, feel free to schedule a consultation at any time to discuss your treatment goals and to determine which dental treatments are right for you.