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Does Fluoride Whiten Teeth?

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A close-up of a dentist's hands applying fluoride on a child's teeth using a cotton swab.

Fluoride is a mineral that can have many positive benefits for our teeth, like reducing your risk of cavities or tooth decay. Fluoride does not directly whiten teeth but can be combined with teeth-whitening treatments to help reduce tooth sensitivity. 

At Southgate Dental Centre, we provide fluoride treatments with regular dental cleanings to help promote healthy teeth and smiles. When you book regular appointments with your dentist, they can support your oral health while helping you reach your smile goals, from whiter teeth to tackling cavities. 

Why Do Dentists Use Fluoride? 

Fluoride is commonly used for treating dental issues like sensitivity and tooth decay and is frequently infused into dental products. Different kinds of toothpaste, mouthwashes, foams, and gels can include the helpful mineral.

Here are a few of the reasons why fluoride is good for your teeth:

  • It can help to reverse early signs of tooth decay 
  • It can help to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria 
  • It can help to prevent cavities 
  • It can be beneficial in rebuilding weakened enamel 

What Is Fluoride? 

Fluoride is a particular type of mineral naturally produced within soil, water, and air. However, many municipalities in Canada have decided to have fluoride added to public drinking water to help in reducing cavities and promote healthy teeth.

Fluoride Treatment Options

Water fluoridation is only one of many ways fluoride can be safely applied to your teeth. Take a look at some of the available products or treatments for fluoride: 

  • Fluoride Toothpaste 
  • Fluoride Mouth Rinse
  • Fluoride Supplements
  • Fluoride Foam and Gel 
  • Fluoride Varnish 

We recommend speaking with your dentist and healthcare provider before using additional fluoride treatments and dental products. 

How to Prevent Tooth Discolouration 

Tooth discolouration is when your teeth change colours, which can happen through aging processes or lifestyle habits. In aging processes, the tooth becomes more opaque and the internal yellow dentin is more obvious. With lifestyle habits, discolouration results in yellow or dark stains on the external surface of your teeth.

With a few lifestyle adjustments, you can keep your teeth healthy and bright.

Food & Drinks 

Drinks like alcohol, coffee, and certain fruits and sauces have been known to stain teeth and cause discolouration. Some ways to avoid this include limiting the intake of these types of food in your diet and rinsing your mouth with water after consumption. 

Tobacco Use

Smoking and chewing tobacco can significantly impact the health and colour of your teeth. Avoiding using these products can reduce the likelihood of discolouration. 

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene 

Regularly brushing and flossing your teeth can help keep your teeth in healthy condition and reduce the likelihood of discolouration. Built-up plaque that turns to tartar can cause discolouration, among many other dental problems. It’s recommended that you floss daily and brush your teeth twice per day

Drink Using a Straw

Drinking through a straw can help to reduce the likelihood of discolouration. When drinking through a straw, your teeth typically have less contact with the drink, which can decrease the likelihood of changing your teeth’s colour. 

Get Regular Dental Cleanings 

Booking regular appointments with your dentist is one of the best ways to keep your smile healthy and happy. Your dentist can help you clean those hard-to-reach places and watch for developing dental conditions.

An at-home teeth whitening kit consisting of a container, trays, a whitening gel laying on a white surface.

How to Whiten Your Teeth 

Many teeth-whitening options exist, such as over-the-counter kits and in-office appointments. Speak with your oral healthcare provider about the options available for whitening your teeth:

Teeth Whitening Toothpaste

Some kinds of toothpaste can help lighten stains and whiten your teeth. These can typically be purchased at most grocery and retail stores.

Teeth Whitening Strips

Teeth whitening strips are another popular product that can be purchased at select stores and pharmacies.

Teeth Whitening Kits

At-home teeth whitening kits often include a personalized mouthguard for gel or paste with peroxide solutions to help whiten teeth. Many kits are sold over the counter or at your local dental clinic. 

In-Office Whitening

Many dental centres provide in-office whitening treatments that typically use stronger solutions and bleaching to achieve results faster and more safely. 

Regardless, speaking with your oral health care provider before using any of these products to whiten your teeth is important. Whitening solutions can damage your enamel and cause discomfort if done too frequently.

Home Care Tips from Southgate Dental Centre to Keep Your Teeth White

Here are some home care tips to help keep your teeth white:

  • Whitening Floss: start by flossing your teeth with a whitening floss. This helps to whiten those difficult to reach areas between the teeth. 
  • Whitening Toothpaste: brush your teeth for 2 minutes with a whitening toothpaste. 
  • Do Not Rinse: Spit, but do not rinse out the toothpaste. The reason for this is that the toothpaste whitening or fluoride ingredients need time to work.
  • At-Home Whitening Kit: talk to your dentist about a home whitening kit from the office. They’re the most predictable, affordable, and safe treatment option available.

Book a Whitening Appointment Today 

Our friendly team at Southgate Dental Centre is happy to book you for your regular dental exam and discuss the different whitening and fluoride treatments to help you reach your smile goals. Request an appointment today and start working towards a healthier and brighter smile!

Written by Dr. Kevin Hamm

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