Having a naturally white smile is rare, but a yellow tint can seem noticeable to you. Whitening your teeth can help brighten your smile. You already know that fluoride is in most dental health products, from toothpaste to mouthwash, but can it help reverse tooth stains?
Fluoride doesn’t whiten your teeth, but it can help prevent tooth decay, strengthen enamel, and protect against developing stains. Whiter teeth can be achieved through other oral health products and treatments.
Regular cleanings and an annual dental exam can help keep your oral health at its best, but if you want a brighter smile, our dental team can discuss the best whitening methods for your teeth and offer lifestyle tips to help keep them free from stains longer.
Fluoride is a powerful mineral that helps to prevent the weakening of enamel and reduce your risk of developing cavities or gingivitis, the precursor to gum disease.
Enamel is the thin, hard outer cover of the tooth. Worn enamel leaves your teeth vulnerable to harmful bacteria from acids in your saliva. As these acids wear down your enamel, it leads to demineralization, but fluoride is a mineral that can remineralize the enamel and keep it strong to defend your teeth from cavities.
Fluoride can coat your teeth with a layer of protection against plaque and tartar buildup. As you eat and drink throughout the day, food particles and bacteria form plaque, accumulating on your teeth and below the gum line. Plaque can turn into tartar, a sticky film that leads to tooth decay and gum disease.
You can get fluoride from several sources. Some of the most common include:
Fluoride treatments at the dental clinic are typically included in your cleaning every 6 months or at your yearly visit with your dentist.
There are different types of tooth discolouration, including:
Extrinsic staining is typical and only affects the enamel of the teeth. While most people assume all staining is yellow, the discolouration can also be brown or purple, depending on the cause. You can limit extrinsic staining by recognizing why your teeth are discoloured.
Intrinsic staining, which is located inside the tooth, can result from trauma, tooth decay, certain medication, and genetics. It doesn’t appear yellow, like most extrinsic tooth staining, and instead has a grey tint.
Some foods are more likely to cause staining than others. Coffee, black tea, and red wine can cause discolouration, and tomatoes, berries, chocolate, and other surgery foods can settle on your teeth and cause an increase in bacteria. Plaque and tartar buildup can cause staining on the tooth's surface.
Whether you’re a smoker or chew tobacco, black and brown stains can develop on the teeth from chronic tobacco use. The health and appearance of your teeth can be improved by quitting tobacco products.
Brushing twice a day with fluoride, whitening toothpaste, flossing once a day, and using antibacterial mouthwash can keep your oral health on track to prevent cavities and gingivitis.
Even though fluoride benefits your teeth, if you want a whiter smile, there are options for reversing discolouration and staining.
Most toothpaste brands have a whitening variety for those who want to lighten the hue of their teeth. Regular use can offer the best results, but this option may not noticeably improve discolouration.
Whitening strips are a popular whitening product you can find at most drugstores and pharmacies. They’re a simple, straightforward method to remove stains, but if you have sensitive teeth, whitening strips may amplify those sensations.
Pre-packaged at-home whitening kits typically include a mouthguard and hydrogen peroxide gel or paste to help remove stains. You can find over-the-counter kits and similar products at your dental clinic.
In-office treatments are a highly effective whitening solution that's more individualized to your smile goals. Considering your tooth sensitivity and degree of staining, we can use the precise balance of hydrogen peroxide solution to safely achieve brighter teeth with fewer treatments.
Scheduling your cleanings every 6 months helps remove the hard-to-reach plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth and gums. Professional scaling, polishing, and fluoride varnish are great preventative measures to avoid deep staining on your teeth.
If you’re using at-home remedies or over-the-counter products to whiten your smile, inform your dental team so they can monitor your teeth for signs of heightened sensitivity and discuss your results.
While fluoride doesn't directly remove stains, it's an invaluable ingredient in dental care products to help keep your enamel strong and free from cavities. There are other options for teeth whitening you can try to reveal a smile you're confident about.
Visit SkyPointe Dental for your twice-a-year cleaning and annual dental checkup. We can answer all your questions about fluoride and help you find the best teeth whitening product or service for a healthy, beautiful smile.
If you’re new to Skypointe Dental, don’t forget to ask about our $1 new patient dental exam!
Wouldn't it be picture-perfect if our teeth could remain sparkling white? It's natural for your teeth to yellow over time, and that change in colour is often the main reason many people seek teeth whitening products.
There are several teeth whitening products available that can help you achieve a brighter smile. But to do it safely, you can speak with your dentist about what options may be best for you.
Keeping up with your regular dental exams and hygiene appointments can help you maintain a bright smile, and while you’re there, you can gain advice from your dentist on safe whitening products and learn what you can do to prevent discolouration.
Combined with good oral hygiene, professional teeth whitening can provide longlasting results that keep your teeth bright for 1–3 years.
Whitening your teeth can be achieved through several different methods, including sanding, cleaching, or ultraviolet (UV) therapy. These teeth whitening treatments aim to remove stains, reduce yellowing, and brighten your teeth.
Teeth can stain and turn yellow due to intrinsic (internal) or extrinsic (external) factors:
There are 2 teeth whitening options, at-home whitening and chair-side (professional) whitening. They come at different price points and have varying degrees of success.
At-home or over-the-counter whitening products can whiten teeth, with effects lasting anywhere between a few weeks to months. It’s recommended that you consult with your dentist before using any whitening products, as they can pose risks to your oral health.
Over-exposure to whitening agents can lead to:
Whitening toothpaste may contain hydrogen peroxide, carbamide peroxide, and mild abrasives. These ingredients can remove surface stains, polishing and whitening the teeth.
Whitening toothpaste can be used daily or several times a week, and results can be seen from 2 to 6 weeks after use. Consult with your dentist to find out if longterm use of whitening toothpaste is suitable for you.
Whitening mouthwashes often contain hydrogen peroxide. If used daily, it can remove some surface staining after regular use.
When used on their own, whitening mouthwashes may not provide dramatic results or long-lasting effects. However, they may help when used with other treatments.
Whitening strips may be more effective than other over-the-counter whitening treatments. The number of treatments needed to whiten your teeth can vary. Because they often use hydrogen peroxide, if used incorrectly or too often, they may be harmful to your teeth.
Whitening pens contain whitening gel in a plastic tube that is applied to your teeth, intended for spot stain removal. Results may be minimal and not long-lasting.
Tray-based teeth whiteners can be purchased over the counter or from your dentist. Whitening results are based on the degree of discolouration, the strength of peroxide, or the length of time worn.
You can purchase a custom-fit tray for at-home use from your dentist with instructions on how to use the trays, how long, and how often you should use them.
In-office or chairside teeth whitening can be safe, reliable, noninvasive, and effective. Before starting any whitening treatment, your dentist can check the health of your teeth to determine if you are a candidate for whitening.
During the whitening treatment, your dentist applies a bleaching agent that is activated with a light. The amount of time you sit with the agent on your teeth is determined by your dentist.
After the treatment, your dentist can provide instructions on caring for your teeth so you can maintain results for as long as possible before requiring touchups or further whitening.
Instructions may include the following:
In-office whitening can last up to 3 years with diligent care.
Good oral hygiene can help you prolong the effects of teeth whitening. Here are some tips to help you achieve longer-lasting results from your teeth whitening:
Several teeth whitening products are available, including over-the-counter and in-office, with varying results. In-office whitening treatments offer safe and long-lasting results (up to 3 years!) with good oral care habits.
If you are interested in teeth whitening, book an appointment with the dentists at SkyPointe Dental. We can help you transform your teeth and improve the brightness of your smile.
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