Does Teeth Whitening Work for Seniors?

man with eyes closed smiling outdoors

Does Teeth Whitening Work for Seniors?

Because it’s a simple and effective way to transform your smile, teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures. But many people wonder whether it’s still possible to get their teeth whitened after they’ve built up decades of stains. 

Fortunately, there is no age limit for teeth whitening. Seniors and young adults alike can get their teeth whitened and enjoy a brighter smile. Here’s everything seniors should know about the procedure. 

Understanding Age-Related Tooth Discoloration

Decades of stains from drinking coffee or smoking tobacco can take a toll on teeth, leaving them yellow or brown in color. Years of enamel erosion from poor diet and/or poor oral hygiene can also cause discoloration. Even taking certain medications for high blood pressure or allergies can discolor your teeth. 

But surface stains aren’t the only reason teeth look darker with age. Over time, the hard, outer protective layer of tooth enamel becomes thinner and more translucent. This allows the yellow layer of dentin underneath to show through, giving the teeth a darker, yellowish appearance. 

Can Seniors Get Their Teeth Whitened?

Seniors can absolutely whiten their teeth. We can help determine whether you’re a good candidate for whitening, and which method is best for you based on your dental health, lifestyle, and cosmetic goals. But it’s important to understand that the process may be a little different compared to teeth whitening for young adults. 

Because older teeth tend to be more porous and more sensitive, extra caution is necessary when whitening them. And because dental restorations like crowns and fillings cannot be whitened, they will need to be replaced to match your new tooth color. 

Is Teeth Whitening Safe for Seniors?

Teeth whitening is considered safe for adults of all ages, including seniors. However, as with any dental procedure, there are some potential risks and side effects

For instance, seniors may be more prone to tooth sensitivity, gum irritation, and damage to existing dental work, depending on the condition of their oral health. It’s best to discuss any concerns with your dentist before you schedule a teeth whitening procedure. 

How to Whiten Aging Teeth: Three Options for Whitening Senior Teeth

1: Take-Home Professional Whitening Kits

Seniors can whiten their teeth gradually with a professional take-home kit. The kits include custom-fitted trays that you wear with a bleaching gel for several weeks, either twice a day for thirty minutes or overnight. Take-home treatments are generally safer and more comfortable for seniors with sensitive teeth than in-office treatments. 

2: In-Office Professional Whitening Treatments

In-office treatments are a fast and effective way to get whiter teeth. In-office whitening treatments can brighten teeth by several shades in just one session. However, seniors with sensitive teeth or gums may not be good candidates for in-office treatments, because they can cause irritation. 

3: Over-the-Counter Whitening Products

A simple way to improve your smile is to use over-the-counter whitening toothpastes and rinses. However, these products simply aren’t as effective as professional treatments. Over-the-counter products can only remove surface stains and not age-related discoloration from thin enamel. 

If you do choose to go with over-the-counter whitening products, make sure to consult your dentist first. They can recommend the best products for your specific dental needs. 

Take-Home Professional Teeth Whitening Kits in Sun Lakes

At Dr. Saba and Associates, we know that a brighter, whiter smile is a top priority for many seniors. That’s why we offer safe and effective take-home whitening kits with custom trays that seniors can comfortably use, even if they have sensitive teeth. We’ll help you transform your smile in just a few weeks. Call our office at 480-895-2111 today to schedule a consultation. 


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (5/10/2023). Photo by LOGAN WEAVER | @LGNWVR on Unsplash