When I first started my anti-aging journey I identified a dozen different signs of facial aging. On that list I noted only a single dental problem– stained/ yellowed teeth. Turns out that changes in our smile are part of often unrecognized changes that make us look older. The overbite that I see in the mirror was just a symptom of changing dental contours, rather than the cause of my aging smile.
Here’s how it works: According to Dr Jacquie, the full wide smile of gorgeous celebrities ( think Angelina Jolie, Jessica Alba, Halle Barre, Kate Middleton) is a youthful smile. As we get older, our smile often becomes smaller as the jaw loses bone mass, shifting the teeth forward.
To check this out, I dug out old family photos and there it was– a full wide smile. As a thirty something Mom, I had a little overbite, but my broad youthful smile had two rows of an even white teeth. Comparing that smile with my baseline pix from Dr Jacquie, you can see the difference a few decades make. The overbite is more pronounced and the side teeth have receded and are barely visable.
Looking at these photos I realized that I certainly under- estimated the impact of aging on the mouth– and I’m not alone. Even in New York where you can trip over dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons, it took me two years to find a full service cosmetic dentist– someone who is focused on the smile problems of adults. At Dr Jacquie’s office, I noticed the beautiful models and actors walking in the door, and I began to suspect I was finally in the right place. If the other patients in the waiting room have a curfew and are carrying that thick SAT book, you’re probably in the wrong place.