If you’re not happy with your smile, you’re not alone. When asked people what is one thing they want to change about their smiles, most of them responded ‘they wanted make them brighter’, according to American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). Teeth can get discolored due to numerous reasons and since each type of stain is different from the other, the stain removal methods are different too.
Teeth stains can be broadly classified into three types:
Intrinsic Teeth Stains
Staining of dentin, the sensitive issue just below the enamel is referred to as intrinsic teeth staining. The layer becomes yellow or darker in color and then becomes visible when the enamel wears out due to poor oral health. Intrinsic stains don’t affect all teeth equally and the most common reasons for such staining are medications, past traumas to the mouth, infection and natural aging.
Since the staining begins from inside, it is impossible to remove it at home. At-home whitening kits can remove the stains to some extent but professional treatment by your dentist can remove the stains completely. Even the most stubborn stains can be removed with help of restorative methods such as:
- Capping/ crowning: tooth-colored caps are place on the stained teeth to hide the stains.
- Bonding: A tooth colored resin is applied on the surface stained tooth, which is then given the correct shape. The resin is cured, smoothened and polished and the original white color of the tooth is restored.
Extrinsic Teeth Staining
Extrinsic staining refers to the staining of the enamel. The enamel gets stained due to the eating, drinking and smoking. Tea, coffee, red pasta sauce, berries, etc. can cause the enamel to stain. Since the staining happens from outside, you can remove the stains to some extent using whitening toothpastes. If you are not happy with the results, see your dentist. Professional dental cleaning can effectively restore the color of enamel and give you a bright smile.
The best way to avoid extrinsic staining is to avoid eating or drinking foods/ drinks that stain the teeth easily.
Staining Due to Aging
The dentin — one of the prime components of tooth — becomes darker as we age and the enamel starts wearing out, which is why the discoloration becomes visible. Office whitening, done by your dentist with help of oral bleaches or at-home bleaching kit, can remove the stains. However, if you have already considered using some off-the-shelf products but still are unhappy with the results, you might require some restorative oral treatments.