Addressing The Widening Gaps Between Your Teeth: Advice From A Dentist

As you age, you may notice two things about your teeth. One, they are yellowing, and two, there appears to be widening gaps between your teeth where you really did not have gaps before. While you know you can easily address the yellowing with whitening treatments, the widening gaps may be more disconcerting. You may be concerned that your teeth are shifting, or that your teeth are "shrinking." Actually, the reasons are pretty normal, and here is some information and advice that your dentist may give you regarding this situation.

​It Is Age-Related

​No joke; widening gaps between your teeth is an age-related event. As you age, the gaps widen because your teeth are wearing down. The more they wear down, the more the gaps will appear to widen. Your teeth will also appear to shrink, even though they are not really shrinking. The dentin and enamel are thinning out, which makes the bulk of your teeth less, and the teeth smaller. 

​Three Ways to Correct This Typical Event

​If you are extremely concerned about the appearance of your teeth as they thin out further and have widening gaps, there are three ways to address this. Your dentist can apply crowns or caps to all of the teeth, making them appear more youthful and with narrower gaps. Another option is to apply veneers to your teeth, which also cosmetically change your smile to look perfect, right on down to the color of the teeth. Your final option is to wear braces, which can pull all of your teeth closer together and narrow all of the gaps you see. If you choose braces, then you have two more options between traditional metal braces and invisible plastic braces. 

Preventing and Slowing the Gaps

​If you are still young enough and the gaps are not that wide yet, you can do things to prevent the gaps and/or slow down the widening of the gaps. This includes consistent oral hygiene daily, and avoiding coffee, tea, and sodas, which contain sufficient acids that wear down the teeth. Taking in more calcium, Vitamin D, and magnesium, plus drinking more fluoridated city water from the tap, can slow the gap development by providing additional strength to your teeth from the inside out. You can also ask your dentist for fluoride treatments, which will reinforce the enamel and dentin of your teeth, making your teeth stronger and more resilient to age-related wear and tear. 

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