Teeth Whitening For Older Patients

A dental patient from Hullbridge asks if it is too late to have whiter teeth.

Our previous blog post answering a local patient’s question proved popular, so we thought we would also publish this one which we received the other day.

We suspect it is a question that has gone through a few people’s minds and is therefore worth sharing with other patients of the Cygnet Dental Practice in Wickford.

Q. Hello, I am a (relatively) older person living in nearby Hullbridge, and, being retired have a lot of time to research information on the internet .. silver surfers I believe they call us! I have a question for you though that I can find little on, and I wonder if you would mind offering your thoughts on it. Simply put, I dislike the fact that my teeth are really yellow. I’m not sure why they look like this as I haven’t smoked for over thirty years and they weren’t this colour when I stopped. I’m a little worried that there may be something serious underlying this and would appreciate any thoughts that you might have on the subject – thank you.

Hello, and thank you for your question. The internet is a wonderful tool, but is no substitute for having a local professionally qualified dentist take a look at your teeth to make sure that there are no problems, and to offer treatment advice. We would strongly recommend that you arrange an appointment at our Wickford dental practice which is only 5 miles from where you live in Hullbridge. This is by far the best way to receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

With the proviso that an actual check is the only way to be sure, we would like to put your mind at rest over your concerns about the health aspect of the colour of your teeth. There is every likelihood that the yellow colour of your teeth is entirely natural. In fact, whilst many people think that this is caused by staining (and some of it may be), it is usually mainly due to the inner part of the tooth becoming darker and making your teeth appear yellow. This is unavoidable and is something that occurs as we grow older. Whilst you can make sure that you brush your teeth well, this will make little or no difference to the colour of the inner part of your teeth.

Whilst this process is entirely natural, it does not mean that you have to simply put up with the discolouration. A simple teeth whitening procedure is usually all that is needed in these circumstances. This is done by taking impressions of your teeth, and a tray that fits comfortably over your teeth is then made. You will be given a whitening gel and instructions on how to use this. Following the production of the tray, the whitening treatment is carried out by yourself, at your convenience, and in the comfort of your own home. After wearing the trays for a short period of time each day, you should notice a significant improvement in the whiteness of your teeth in around a fortnight.

This simple and non-invasive treatment should leave you with much improved looking teeth. In some cases, where the surface enamel has become very badly stained, often through heavy smoking, dental veneers may be a more effective option. These replace the surface enamel of the visible teeth and are an excellent way of restoring the appearance of very badly stained teeth. This is a more invasive procedure though and generally, we would suggest a whitening treatment first of all.

We hope that this helps to answer your question but would re-iterate that a full dental check is necessary to be sure that there are no other underlying problems with your teeth. Why not take the short trip from Hullbridge to the Cygnet Dental Practice and take the first step to having nice looking teeth again? Our friendly reception team can be contacted by calling us on 01268 733078. We look forward to meeting you!