A perfect smile starts with healthy and straight teeth. While you can do your part to keep your teeth clean and free from cavities, you may feel frustrated when you see a crooked smile gleaming back at you in the mirror. Your teeth naturally shift as you age, and it is common to discover that your smile is no longer as straight as it used to be. Working with your dentist can help you get your smile back in top condition. Here are a few ways to handle crooked teeth and misaligned jaws as you age.

Understand the Importance of Teeth Alignment for Adults

People sometimes feel like they are too old to do much for their smile. The idea that only young adults can have a perfect smile is outdated now that more is known about how teeth alignment affects people’s overall health. Crooked teeth and jaws lead to issues such as tooth decay, since it is hard to floss between teeth that are too close together. A misaligned jaw also sets you up for facial pain that is associated with TMJ. You are also at higher risk for experiencing a broken tooth when your teeth don’t fit together properly.

Prevent Crooked Teeth with Long-Lasting Tooth Replacements

One of the reasons why older adults develop crooked teeth is because they don’t always replace missing ones. Your teeth will naturally begin to shift to fill in any gaps that are left in your gums. This is why dentists often recommend having a tooth replaced. Today, cosmetic dental implants can fill in those gaps so that your teeth stay in place.

Explore Your Orthodontic Options

Adults can get braces, and there are new styles available that make orthodontic treatment discreet and easy. Clear plastic aligners might be used before or after teeth replacement to help make sure that your teeth and jaws line up properly. Some older adults also use retainers to prevent their teeth from shifting out of place.

Follow All Maintenance Recommendations

Following your initial treatment, your dentist will recommend ways to preserve the results. For instance, implants are treated much the same as your natural teeth. You’ll need to brush and floss them to maintain your gum health. Going for your regular dental cleanings also helps to keep your gums healthy and strong so that they hold your teeth in the correct places.

You don’t have to accept having your smile change dramatically as you get older. Taking care of your oral health and following your dentist’s recommendations will help you continue to feel confident smiling as you move from middle age into your senior years.