Fixing Stained Teeth

Millions of Americans struggle with staining on their teeth. Stained teeth are caused by a number of factors, including dark beverages such as wine, coffee, and tea, as well as medications, aging and genetics. Depending on the cause of the staining, dentists can use various cosmetic dental treatments to improve the appearance of a smile. If you are unhappy with the staining on your teeth, there are options available to you. Learn a bit more about teeth whitening and stain removal options below.

Ways to Fix Stained Teeth

Here are some cosmetic dentistry options available to treat stained teeth:

  • Whitening toothpastes: Almost every toothpaste includes ingredients designed to scrub away stains and polish teeth. With regular use, using whitening toothpaste has the potential to lighten teeth a few shades.
  • Whitening strips: If the stains are mild, whitening strips that are applied directly on to teeth once or twice per day for about two weeks can help bleach the teeth are reduce stains. Whitening strips are available over-the counter.
  • At-home bleaching trays: If strips and toothpaste aren’t working and the stains are a little more serious, a more aggressive whitening method may be needed. In-home bleaching trays work by filling a fitted tray with a bleaching paste or gel. The trays can be worn for a few hours or overnight for a few weeks up to a month. Not as expensive as professional whitening, in-home bleaching trays are available over-the-counter for between $150 and $300.
  • Custom in-home trays made by the dentist are more effective than whitening trays purchased in stores.
    Professional bleaching trays: Professional whitening treatments involve bleaching solutions that are much stronger than the gels and pastes used in at-home bleaching trays because they are administered by dental professionals. The professional bleaching treatments use heat, light or a combination of both to speed up the whitening process. With professional cleanings it is common for teeth to get three to eight shades brighter, especially with multiple visits.
  • Porcelain veneers: If staining and discoloration are severe, a more extensive cosmetic treatment may be required. When teeth do not respond to traditional teeth-whitening methods, a dentist will often recommend porcelain veneers. Veneers are thin sheets of porcelain or tooth-colored resin that are bonded to the front of teeth. Veneers are a more effective and permanent way to achieve whiter teeth that look totally natural. Veneers are an especially good option when discoloration has resulted in dark spots within the teeth layers.

There are many natural teeth whitening remedies available, however it is recommended that you consult with a dental professional before trying any method, whether natural or over the counter. Some natural treatments have shown to cause more harm to dental health than good. Your dentist can help you talk through the severity of your staining and discoloration and pick a whitening treatment method that matches your personal oral health needs. Your dentist will help you pick a treatment that is appropriate to your concerns, cost-efficient, and most importantly, safe.

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