As we age, we lose elasticity, collagen, and fat in our cheeks and lips. Our teeth become our primary support teeth, says Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist Kourosh Maddahi, DDS, and if they’re not in the proper place, it can affect our entire look. Here, the top ways our smiles age us and his holistic anti-aging smile approach.
Addressing Form + Function
“When your upper lip starts to look thinner than your lower lip, most likely your teeth are farther in than the lower teeth and not in the proper place. If the lower lip is getting much thinner than your upper lip that means the proper support of the lower teeth is not there,” he explains. Another way the mouth can age the face is when you smile and you see a black hole between the cheeks and the teeth. “This means you have a narrow arch, and the teeth are not really supporting your teeth,” says the cosmetic dentist. “When we widen the smile with veneers and crowns, we also build out the front teeth a bit more so that the lips have proper support.”
Improving Tooth Shape, Length and Color
A beautiful young smile is wide, bright and with straighter teeth. As we get older teeth become duller, darker and become more crooked. “This comes down to what we eat and drink and clenching and grinding,” says Dr. Maddahi. When teeth become shorter, yellow, or gray, it ages us even more. “What we attempt to do is make your teeth longer and brighter and address the shape, length, and color, but the other thing we can do is correct the grinding as well.” The dentist says this is where a night guard and watching what you consume comes into play. “The nightguard will reduce the damage to the teeth and the wear on the teeth so you don’t end up needing crowns and veneers. In terms of color, we advise avoiding coffees, teas, wine, blackberries, or juices or use a straw to reduce the discoloration over time.”
Maintaining a Healthy Oral Microbiome
After more than 20 years of research and seven years of creating his clean, luxe Oral Essentials product line, Dr. Maddahi says protecting our smiles from the inside out is the number one thing we can do to maintain a younger look. “More and more what we’re finding out is that what we are putting in our mouths in terms of products are killing good bacteria we need, destroying the enamel of our teeth or oxidizing our mouths,” he explains. “When you use hydrogen peroxide to whiten your teeth over time, you can create sensitivity because the enamel starts to break down. More importantly, hydrogen peroxide is an oxidizing agent changes the DNA.”
Dr. Maddahi recommends moving away from oral care products that eliminate the entirety of the bacteria that are protecting our teeth. “Even if your teeth and gums are healthy, it matters how you maintain them with proper oral hygiene. Products that are not microbiome-safe will destroy the good bacteria and ultimately disturb the microbiome.” Skip the alcohol-based mouthwashes and antimicrobial toothpastes and instead using a microbiome-safe mouthwash and toothpaste, like the Lumineux Oral Essentials, which are designed to neutralize the toxins of the harmful bacteria, without disturbing the protective microbiome of the mouth.
Practicing good habits like brushing and flossing, using a microbiome-safe mouthwash and toothpaste, and maintaining dental cleanings all help prevent oral inflammation. “Our immune systems are sensitive,” notes Dr. Maddahi. “We don’t want to trigger the immune system or overburden it as it has a larger capacity to ward off more serious illnesses and infections.”
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