Recently, I was invited to try out a new anti-aging skincare product and then be a part of their infomercial. I used it for 90 days and had moderate results. The tricky part was that they told us to use a specific cleanser for two weeks which dried out my skin and made me look 10 years older. So the 'before' photos were basically like mug shots. In addition, I was told not to smile and ended up having a blank stare into the camera. My hair was smashed down and I felt drab and worn out. (It reminded me of the card game I played as a young girl, Old Maid, and it was a curse to end up with that dreaded old hag card!) I am sure the lighting and filters were also making me look more aged. Just ask anyone in film and television about the importance of lighting!
It's like those selfies that we take with our phones; if you shoot in poor lighting without the flash or too close up, you can look deformed or even worse, really old!
At the end of the 90 days they had us all coiffed and air brushed, so even if I didn't use the potions and creams, I would have looked better. (I must admit, I did notice some of my lines were decreased.) The biggest difference was that I was interviewed on camera and animated. I had a chance to move my face and actually smile. My smile has always been my strong suit so it made a huge difference.
For many boomers, excessive smiling has left its mark on our faces. We have all earned these lines and they are actually a sign of a well-lived life. But the key to beauty comes from the inside out. It's about health, wellness and feeling good. It's the whole picture that counts. One aspect is our smile and authenticity. When we radiate warmth and glow with joy, we exude a beauty that is beyond the outer shell, and it is not just skin deep.
However, having a beautiful smile can be improved with the care and upkeep of our teeth. As we mature and age, our teeth shift and get darker without the proper upkeep and care. Now, there are so many new ways of improving our teeth that are affordable and easy to remedy. From simple teeth whitening to invisible braces to correct alignment, many treatments can even be done at home and without an expensive medical procedure.
There is a relatively new field of Cosmetic Dentistry which is generally used to refer to any dental work that improves the appearance of a person's teeth, gums and/or bite. With a focus on improvement of the aesthetics such as color, position, shape, size, alignment and it affects the overall smile appearance. In addition, there are a variety of dental treatments designed to enhance the smile and correct chipped, cracked, discolored and unevenly spaced teeth there are many options. From porcelain veneers to tooth-colored fillings, patients can choose from a variety of cosmetic dentistry solutions to restore the health and vitality of their smile.
Anyone in the public eye, especially now with the political debates and upcoming presidential elections, must have a winning smile to even attract voters. Many of us in "my generation" experienced the first televised presidential debate in 1960 and we will never forget the way Richard Nixon was sized up next to the handsome 'GQ' appearance of JFK. Kennedy won the hearts and minds of our country:
"The Kennedy-Nixon debates not only had a major impact on the election's outcome, but ushered in a new era in which crafting a public image and taking advantage of media exposure became essential ingredients of a successful political campaign. They also heralded the central role television has continued to play in the democratic process."
With many boomers as frontrunners in this year's election, from Hillary to Bernie to Trump and Carson, they are all conscious of how their appearance can influence the voters. The daily dish is fraught with gossip and superficial critiques across all media outlets including online and in the social sectors
The truth is that many of us are taking responsibility for our own health and wellbeing, however, it really starts from childhood. Awareness of the fact that eating too much refined sugars and not following a personal hygiene regimen is now taught early on in the schools. In this new age of information and the latest breakthroughs in wellness, we have been well informed and many are now becoming more accountable for the care of our children's health.
Even though tooth decay is nearly always a preventable disease, nearly one in four preschool-age children have experienced a cavity. A new online resource points to the need for a "coordinated system" approach to make early childhood cavities a thing of the past. Community water fluoridation has been part of this system and is a contentious topic, with some arguing that the benefits are outweighed by issues of choice and medication. There are a range of resources (CDC, ilikemyteeth.org and ADA) that will help to keep you well informed to pass your own judgement.
EndCavities.org, a website launched recently by the Children's Dental Health Project (CDHP), explains "that keeping kids cavity-free during these early years can put them on a path to lifelong good oral health."
"There are a variety of ways that fluoride can benefit teeth, including through its addition to toothpaste and water. Fluoride varnish is another way that children can receive the benefits. A new recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics calls for medical or dental professionals to apply fluoride varnish to children's teeth two to four times per year, starting at six months (once teeth are in the mouth) and continuing through age five. This is a highly concentrated form of fluoride that is painted onto the surface of teeth, where it dries quickly. As it gradually wears off, it strengthens the enamel -- making teeth more resistant to decay."
Even as we age, becoming not only older but wiser, there are simple steps to prolong health and longevity. One aspect is making sure we have the proper oral hygiene to show off our beautiful smiles, which radiate our pure essence from the inside-out. And remember to keep smiling, even if we gain more wrinkles in the end, a pure smile always makes you look younger!