Can Teeth Whitening Turn Back the Clock?
When it comes to keeping a youthful appearance, many of us turn to pots of skin-smoothing creams and boxes of hair dye. But could one of the biggest anti-aging secrets be hiding in your smile?
Teeth Yellowing Is a Natural Part of Aging
As we age, our teeth become more yellow – it’s a natural part of aging that even the most diligent brushers and flossers can’t avoid. So when it comes to maintaining a youthful appearance, many are turning to teeth whitening products to maintain a beaming, bright smile.
Here’s why our teeth naturally yellow as we get older: There are two main layers to your teeth: The inner dentin and the outer enamel. Over the years, the white enamel tooth coating tends to wear down, revealing more of the yellowing inner dentin.
When your enamel erodes, it’s gone for good. But the good news is that you have several ways to restore your whiter smile and many reasons why you might consider doing so.
Teeth Whitening and Aging: Research Shows the Benefits
Several studies have shown the benefits of whiter teeth. In a small 2021 study of 50 adults, the researchers found “The faces with more whitened dentition are perceived to be younger….”1
In 2019, a European study found that “...a brighter tooth shade significantly affected the attractiveness of the smile.”2
Having a white smile is a clear sign of health, youth and beauty. Although a yellowing smile is a natural part of aging, you have options if you’d like to keep your pearly whites shining for longer.
Ready to Whiten? What to Know Before You Start
You have several options when it comes to whitening your teeth. Many types of teeth whitening products, such as toothpastes, mouthwashes and teeth-bleaching tray systems, are readily available over-the-counter. If you prefer the professional route, your dentist can provide a whitening service that takes your specific health history and whitening goals into account.
Even if you decide to use an over-the-counter product, you should talk to your dentist before starting any whitening routine. Whitening products can worsen tooth sensitivity, dry mouth and gum problems. Also, you will want to know whether you have any signs of tooth decay before starting a whitening treatment. Consulting with your dentist before starting a new dental treatment will prove a smart and healthy move in the long run.
Do you need help finding a dentist in your area? Delta Dental of Iowa’s online Find-a-Provider tool is an easy way to find an in-network dentist near you. Prefer to call? Our Customer Service team is happy to help, and you can reach them at the number on the back of your Delta Dental of Iowa ID card.
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Cool Down With This Banana Berry Ice Cream Recipe
You can quickly whip up this ice cream recipe, and it hits the spot on Iowa’s hottest summer days. With just five ingredients and a blender or food processor, you’ll have a delicious treat that packs some major health benefits, too.
Why is this recipe mouth-friendly? First, it contains milk, which contains calcium, phosphorus and healthy proteins to protect your teeth. Milk also helps stimulate saliva, which keeps cavity-causing bacteria at bay.1 Second, this recipe features berries, which are known to be lower in sugar,2 and research has shown that blueberries and cranberries have been shown to limit the bad bacteria in the mouth that leads to cavities and gum disease.3 Finally, it contains bananas. Although bananas have higher levels of sugar compared to other fruits, they contain vitamin C, magnesium and calcium, which help support tooth health.
Now that you know why it’s good for you, it’s time to get to the fun part: Making the ice cream.
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1 cup frozen berries
- ¼ cup milk
- ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Your favorite toppings (fresh berries and sugar-free whipped cream are a great choices!)
- Peel and cut the ripe bananas into large pieces. Place in a freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 2 hours.
- Once the banana slices are frozen, blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth; the appearance should look similar to soft-serve ice cream.
- If you like a firmer ice cream, freeze for another 30 minutes. If not, it’s ready to eat. Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!