Grandma, Why Are Your Teeth So White?

Grandma, Why Are Your Teeth So White?

Attractive teeth in later life.

Although the caricature of a Grandmother is probably an elderly lady sitting in front of a fire knitting a sweater or scarf, the fact is that it is quite possible to be a Grandmother in your forties or fifties.

Of course, to young children, you are probably going to be an ‘oldie’ whether you are 40 or well into your 90s, but for ourselves, well, we generally like to feel as young as we possibly can, whatever the grand kids think!

No one can avoid getting older, and it certainly does take its toll on our bodies. We can help to alleviate some of the worst symptoms of this through healthy eating and exercising, but some things, such as wrinkles, will eventually happen anyway (although, we can help with this through our facial aesthetic treatments).

One area that often gives away our age, is our teeth. Even if we have looked after them well, and they are otherwise healthy, most of us will lose some of the sparkle or brightness that our teeth had when we were younger.

Teeth discolouration

Whilst surface discolouration of our teeth can certainly play a role in their appearance, the likelihood is that the main reason that our teeth no longer have the sparkle that they used to do is down to internal discolouration. This inner part of our teeth will darken with age, no matter what we do to try to stop it. As the external enamel layer of our teeth is translucent, this darkness will eventually show through, making our teeth look dull, and sometimes yellow, in appearance. All of this adds to the overall ageing effect.

Whilst it isn’t actually harmful to our teeth, discolouration is certainly not desirable, especially for someone who wants to look younger for as long as possible. Below, our team of Ipswich cosmetic dentists investigate how this problem can be reversed.

Surface staining

Some staining substances e.g. wine and coffee, can discolour the surface of our teeth. This can be minimised through regular brushing, and, of course, reducing the amount of these that you consume in the first place. It is likely though, that some stains still remain and your first step towards having whiter teeth may be to have them professionally cleaned so that you can determine the extent of any internal discolouration that is contributing.

This can be done by seeing the hygienist at the Foxhall Dental Practice. This is a good habit to get into anyway as it is extremely helpful in the fight against gum disease, and we would advise you to have this done every six months or so, for this reason alone.

Part of the scale and polish procedure that the hygienist carries out is the removal of hardened bacteria and also, through the high speed polishing, the removal of much of the surface staining from your teeth. Having this done will enable you to see the true colour of your teeth and help you to decide if you wish to have further treatment to restore their whiteness, or not, at this stage.

Teeth whitening procedures

To truly bring out the whiteness of your teeth, especially as you get older, a professional tooth whitening procedure is the best way to go. Not only will this eliminate surface staining but will also lighten the inner part of your teeth too. This is done through the use of a whitening agent that is applied to the teeth by your dentist. A special light is then used to activate the gel and speed up the process. The whole thing takes just around one hour and, following it, you should see an improvement in the colour of your teeth by up to eight shades.

Although you can find home whitening kits in your local chemists, we don’t recommend that you use these. They are not only unlikely to be as effective, but also don’t offer the same level of protection for your gums and lips that a professional whitening at our Ipswich practice does. Teeth whitening toothpastes too, whilst much safer, are unlikely to produce any significant improvement. You may wish to use these following your teeth whitening procedure to lengthen the effect, perhaps, but do be aware though, that some of these contain additional abrasives that could damage the tooth enamel if used too often.

Age should not be a barrier to an attractive appearance. Whilst we probably shouldn’t expect the ‘perfection’ which some younger people aspire to, there is no reason to simply ‘let ourselves go’, and achieving a younger and more attractive look in our middle age (and beyond) is not beyond the realm of possibility. Our ‘in house’ teeth whitening procedure can play a part in this and you can arrange to have an initial consultation at the Foxhall Dental Practice by calling us today on 01473 258396.