I guess I do mine backwards, because I install the new one & then go to Add/Remove to get rid off the old one. I still remember when I first started, I noticed about three Javas in my Add/Remove, so rookie that I was, (still am), I contacted them & asked if it was safe to remove the older versions. The answer back was basically, we are not sure, but why don’t you try it & let us know.
BTW I found a good program that will alert me of things like Java being insecure & an update being there. It’s called Secunia, they have an online version, but I installed the PSI (Personal Software Inspector). Like anything though, make sure you read what it’s telling you & if in doubt, GOOGLE & research.