Insightful and informative dentist blog, covering a wide range of dental topics alongside new treatment & clinic announcements.
It’s inevitable that the older we get, the more discoloured our teeth become. And we can blame our diet for this because we eat and drink so many things that have the ability to stain our teeth. The top offenders when it comes to drinks are tea, coffee, red wine and cola. When it comes to food, the more colourful it is, the more likely it is to discolour your teeth. For example, beetroot, tomatoes, and berries* can stain your teeth, as can spices such as turmeric can also have an effect.
It’s therefore much more likely that if you’re over 40, your teeth will be less white than they were when you were 20. But don’t worry, there’s a lot you can do to regain your pearly whites. As you’d expect, for the quickest and the best results, visit a dentist for in-clinic professional teeth whitening treatment. With some treatments you’ll see instant results; with other treatments that you carry on at home, you’ll still see results within two or three weeks.
A cheaper option would be to use an at-home kit. We recommend Diamond White PAP+ Whitening Kit which was developed in partnership with Dr Richard Marques to give you professional results without the need to visit the dentist’s surgery.
However, there are a number of things you can do that will help you whiten your teeth without going anywhere near a dentist’s chair! Great if you want to make a start while you’re saving up for a professional treatment (though remember we offer 0% private dental finance on all treatments, so why not book a free consultation now!).
If you want to try whitening your teeth yourself, here are our top 10 tips for whiter teeth after 40 without visiting the dentist.
1. Baking soda
Some toothpastes come with added baking soda, but if you don’t want to give up your current brand, just add baking soda to it. Alternatively, mix a quarter of a teaspoon of baking soda with water, put it on your toothbrush and clean your teeth. Baking soda works because it’s a natural cleaning and oxidising agent that won’t damage your teeth but, over time, will make them look whiter.
Unlike other berries, strawberries can help your teeth look whiter because they are rich in malic acid. However, use them with caution because the citric acid in the fruit can weaken your tooth enamel. It’s best to use really ripe strawberries as the ripening process decreases the amount of citric acid and increases the amount of malic acid.
Like strawberries, malic acid is present in apples, which can have a whitening effect on your teeth.
Saltwater is a very effective mouthwash. It’s a natural antibacterial that helps keep your gums healthy, but it’ll also help to whiten your teeth. All you have to do is mix a teaspoon of salt in a cup of water that’s been boiled but cooled down, and you’re ready to go.
5. White or red?
If you’re wondering whether to ask for a glass of white or red, choose white because it won’t stain your teeth.
6. Hard cheese
Cheese is a natural cleanser that can contribute to whiter teeth. It’s also high in calcium, which means it’ll offer a boost to the health of your teeth at the same time. The best cheeses to eat for your teeth are the harder ones, such as Cheddar.
7. Coconut oil
If you can bear it, rinsing your mouth out with a tablespoon of coconut oil can help whiten your teeth. It works by preventing plaque and stains sticking to your teeth. However, be warned that you’ll need to swill your mouth with it for at least 15 minutes.
Who knew that something like charcoal could help you whiten your teeth? Thankfully you don’t have to raid the BBQ to find it as there are plenty of toothpastes on the market that contain charcoal.
9. Whitening toothpaste
If you’re looking for a whitening toothpaste made out of natural, organic ingredients, why not try Dr Richard’s Diamond White whitening toothpaste.
10. Electric toothbrush with whitening mode
Dentists recommend electric toothbrushes anyway because they can remove up to 70% more plaque than manual brushes alone. Some electric toothbrushes also come with a whitening mode that will help remove staining, so it’s worth investing a bit more if you’re after a whiter smile as well as stronger teeth.
*Incidentally, did you know that blueberries are responsible for the name of something you use every day – especially if you have an app that’s connected to your toothbrush? We’re talking about Bluetooth. The technology was named after the 10th century Danish King Harald who was famous for uniting Scandinavia by encouraging the leaders to communicate with each other. He was well known for his love of blueberries, and the fruit had allegedly stained a dead tooth, which earned him the nickname ‘Bluetooth’.