Teeth Whitening and the Concept of Ageing Gracefully

What does it mean to age gracefully in 2024?

For some, it means Botox and surgical enhancement that keep the face and body looking as young as possible, while for others it means letting nature run its course and embracing the changes to your appearance as they come. 

We’re not here to say that either one or the other is right – but what we are here to do is highlight the role of teeth whitening and consider what happens to the teeth naturally as we age. 

What happens to the teeth when we age?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a single part of the body that isn’t affected by ageing. Teeth are subject to incredible levels of wear and tear over the years, and while a good oral hygiene routine and regular trips to the dentist are good ways to keep them looking their best, over time the enamel starts to wear away.

When the enamel on the surface of your teeth starts to become worn, the teeth become more sensitive and more prone to damage. What’s more, as the layer of enamel on the teeth starts to wear away and become thinner, it exposes more of the dentin beneath. It’s this dentin that causes older teeth to appear yellow, owing to its natural yellow hue.

And that’s not all. As we age and the teeth become more fragile, they also become more subject to stains. Extrinsic stains, which impact the surface of the teeth and cause visible staining, are reversible but become more apparent as you get older – while intrinsic stains, which occur deep inside the tooth, are more difficult to tackle. 

Gum recession is another factor that contributes towards the look of discoloured teeth. As the gums surrounding the teeth recede, the roots of the teeth become more exposed and visible – creating the illusion of a darker tooth and enhanced staining. This is not necessarily the case; however, it is another factor that contributes towards an older smile appearing, well, older. 

All of these different factors lead to the teeth becoming discoloured as we age. And, as anyone with older teeth will know, a desire to hide discoloured teeth only illuminates wrinkles and fine lines and draws more attention to ageing features. 

Of course, colour is not the only impact that ageing has on a person’s smile – in fact, ageing can also alter the alignment of teeth and become more prominent as youthful volume is lost from the face and jawbone. 

But, for the purpose of this blog, let’s focus a bit more on the colour of teeth for now – and specifically whether teeth whitening is a treatment that’s well suited to older clients who want to perfect and protect their smile as they age. 

Is teeth whitening suitable for an older client?

This is where getting the right treatment is so crucial. Older clients will find that their teeth are more sensitive, and so require a careful balance between a potent treatment and sensitive methodology.

While over-the-counter, at-home, and DIY whitening solutions and kits can produce varied results and, in some cases, even enhance teeth sensitivity and discomfort, professional teeth whitening is designed to elicit optimum results with an optimal client experience.

When you visit a dentist for a teeth whitening treatment, you will first complete a thorough consultation, during which the dentist will talk you through the process and your ideal outcome. They will explain the difference between extrinsic (surface) and intrinsic (interior) stains on the teeth and identify some of the things that could be causing your teeth to appear heavily stained. They will then take you through the potential results.

This is where we return to that concept of ageing gracefully.

The best approach for teeth whitening as an older client is a subtle brightening without going too far. If you take the teeth whitening too far, the results will not only be obvious, but the overall look will be unnatural – which is another reason why it’s so important to seek professional treatment.

A professional dentist will use teeth whitening to lighten the colour of your teeth and give you just enough of an enhanced colour to restore your self-esteem and confidence, while giving you a smile that you can feel proud of. What’s more, laser teeth whitening is safe and protects the structure of your teeth – and, provided you adopt the right approach to aftercare and maintenance, the results can last for upwards of two years. 

The benefits of professional teeth whitening 

Teeth whitening has become one of the most popular aesthetic treatments on the market, for clients and consumers of all ages. While the rise in at-home and DIY kits is consistently being fed by influencers and social campaigns that promise unrivalled results, the most effective avenue is still professional whitening. And here’s why.

Professional whitening uses a whitening agent and activator, combined with a blue spectrum LED laser light, to break down and lift the stains away from the teeth. Capturing both extrinsic and intrinsic stains, this treatment delivers instant results that can be enjoyed from the moment the treatment ends. 

Armed with a whiter smile, just some of the benefits that clients are reporting back include more confidence, a bigger and brighter smile, and more opportunities in both their personal and professional lives. 

Can you get your teeth whitened and still age gracefully?

In short, yes. For one thing, whiter teeth will immediately make your face look younger but in the most natural way possible. What’s more, ageing gracefully means something different for everyone – with no set beauty standards needing to depict what it means to age with grace. 

If you think that teeth whitening is something that you could benefit from, or if you want to find out more about older clients who have invested in teeth whitening and their thoughts on the process, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local dentist.