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18 October 2018

Some tooth discolouration is preventable, but age still plays a part in the way that our teeth look.

One of the most common concerns we hear expressed by patients at the Confidental Clinic in Surbiton, is that their teeth no longer look white like they used to when they were younger.

It is probably no coincidence then, that the teeth whitening procedure is one of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments currently available. There are many different causes for darker coloured teeth, some of which are in the patient’s control, whilst others are not.

In today’s blog, we take a look at the colour of our teeth throughout our lives and also how we can keep them as white as possible, for as long as possible.

Babies and very young children

This is an age where first teeth come through, followed by secondary teeth. Whilst it is very important to keep young teeth healthy at this stage of life, the colour should be of little concern. Providing that parents help them to brush their teeth and make sure that they eat a reasonably healthy diet, most children will have white teeth at this age; albeit it should be noted that genetics do play a part.

Early teens

During this period, hopefully no significant discolouration will occur; but that said, our teeth can very quickly come under attack from the foods we eat and our lifestyle choices. Lack of care when brushing, and a diet high in acids, perhaps including too many sugary drinks, can cause the enamel on our teeth to erode, leaving a rougher surface. The small pits and cracks created by this are likely to trap food staining materials, and discoloured teeth may be just around the corner.

Late teens/early adult

Although seemingly less widespread than it used to be, the late teens and early twenties are often times when we start to experiment with smoking and drinking, free from the restraints of our parents. There are many health implications at play here, including a heightened risk of gum disease and oral cancers. From an aesthetic perspective though, smoking is one of the worst things that you can do if you want to avoid stained teeth. Young adults of this age should make sure that they are seen by a dentist regularly, and preferably the hygienist as well.

Middle age

As the various habits that stain our teeth build up, such as tea drinking for example, it is likely that we will notice that our teeth are not as white as they used to be. In addition to any surface staining, which is, to some degree, within our control, it is around this time when the inner part of our teeth start to darken and show through the translucent enamel of our teeth. No amount of brushing will improve this and a professional teeth whitening treatment is the only way to tackle this.

Old age

Our later years used to be a time when people weren’t expected to be concerned with their appearance. With people living longer and enjoying an active social life for longer too, it is only natural that we want to look our best. Whilst a teeth whitening procedure can still be highly effective for older patients, many also have the years or wear and tear to contend with. In this case, other cosmetic and restorative treatments may prove to be necessary. This can only be determined following a thorough consultation, where we will discuss your requirements, expectations and possible treatment plans.

Whatever age you are now, we can help you to have whiter teeth. If you would like to find out more about the treatments that we use, and to see how we can help, please call the Confidental Clinic in Surbiton on 020 8399 1291.

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