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Mistake 7: Ignoring your teeth.  Teeth appear yellower as we age? I’m doomed. Maybe I better keep an eye out for a coupon for professional teeth whitening. Having been part of the “Yeah, Mom I Brushed My Teeth When I Really Didn’t Club” as a child (hell, I served as their president for a couple of years), I’ve always had yellow teeth. I wish I could grit my middle-age teeth at my lying child self and tell her this is what her teeth would like if she didn’t brush them. Worked for my kids.

It’s possible that your teeth will become more sensitive as you get older. If this occurs, trade in your toothpaste for one that claims to decrease sensitivity. And if you have big silver fillings in your teeth, they expand over time and there is a chance they will crack your tooth. Check with your dentist about whether it is advisable to replace the silver fillings with other options.

Image of middle-aged woman with long hair

Image courtesy of Alex Dimchev, stock.xchng

Mistake 8: Thinking there are hair rules. I was just having this conversation with coworkers. Many middle-agers were taught that women of a certain age should not wear their hair below their shoulders. Barbara Grufferman, author of The Best of Everything After 50: The Experts’ Guide to Style, Sex, Health, Money, and More, says, “It [hair length] depends on a woman’s height, shape, lifestyle, and the condition of her hair.” They go on to tell the reader that her hair will probably get more gray. It’s probably a little late to break that news.

And your hair thins. I figured that out too. The thinning worries me. I know a few women whose hair is so thin you can see their scalps. Is that why our moms wore those bouffant hairstyles? I know the style made my Mom’s hair look fuller; my sisters and I had to help Mom cover the “bald” spot in back.

(More on thinning hair in a future blog post.)

What do you think about long hair on older women?

Is there anything you health or beauty related habit you had as a child that you are paying the price for now?