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Ever looked at your teeth and wished for them to be whiter? Or secretly rubbed baking soda or a piece of banana peel on your teeth to whiten them? Trust us, you’re not alone. Many people experience teeth stains and discolouration. Unfortunately, these stains can ruin your perfect smile, and those pictures that could have been social media-worthy. But the good news is, your teeth can be treated because teeth stain removal is a real thing. Wondering how? Read on to know more. But first, let us discuss what exactly is teeth discolouration and what causes your teeth to stain.
What are teeth stains?
Teeth discolouration or staining occurs when the natural colour of your teeth changes. They may stain yellow, brown, or even black in colour, depending on how severe the discolouration is and how long it has been neglected. The teeth may also develop white or dark spots in places. There are two types of teeth stains - extrinsic and intrinsic. Superficial or extrinsic stains occur on the outside of the teeth and are caused by consuming certain staining beverages such as coffee and wine, starchy foods, using tobacco products, and so on. On the other hand, Intrinsic stains form on the inside of the teeth and are caused due to trauma, ageing, or excessive ingestion of fluoride. So, how do we treat these teeth stains?
Teeth stain removal and treatments
Depending on the severity and nature of the teeth discolouration, your dentist will recommend treatment procedures to you. Typically, here are some common teeth whitening solutions that you can go for if you want to remove black spots from teeth:
Application of a whitening agent: If your teeth stains are more on the surface, then an external whitening agent can be applied. First, your dental health expert will examine your teeth and then start cleaning them. Then the whitening agent, usually a high concentration of peroxide gel is applied to the teeth in careful, controlled amounts. The gel is left on the teeth up to an hour in 15 to 20-minute intervals. With this procedure, you will notice a significant change in the colour in a short time span.
Take-home whitening kits: If the teeth stains are stubborn or intrinsic, the dentist might give you a professional take-home whitening kit to whiten your teeth over the course of a longer period. Although this procedure is slower, some dentists believe that these whitening kits can actually produce the best results in the long run. They are easy to use and have a lower concentration of peroxide gel that stays on the teeth for an hour or perhaps longer. Sometimes, the duration can also be overnight, as advised by the doctor. The lower the content of peroxide in the gel, the longer it can safely remain on the teeth without harming them. It is applied to the teeth with the help of custom-made bleaching trays that look like mouth guards.
Whitening toothpaste: Although one cannot effectively get rid of black stains on teeth at home without professional assistance - if the discolouration is very mild and the stains are yellowish, you can use a whitening toothpaste. There are certain dental-approved whitening toothpastes that help remove teeth stains at home which are everyday surface stains and effectively clean the teeth like the Oral-B 3D White Luxe toothpaste. It is especially helpful if you have ‘coffee-stained teeth,’ which occurs when tannins in coffee accumulate on the tooth enamel. This toothpaste improves the appearance of the teeth and shows noticeable results within seven days of use.
Now that you know how teeth stains can be treated, it is also important to know how to prevent them. After all, prevention is better than cure! So, maintain a good oral care routine that includes - brushing twice a day for two minutes each, flossing daily, and rinsing off with an antibacterial mouthwash. Avoid staining foods such as coffee, tea, red wine, dark colas, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, tomato-based sauces, and so on. It is essential to visit your dentist for a routine teeth check-up at least once every six months. It is also crucial to use advanced dental care products such as the Oral-B electric toothbrushes to make sure all the plaque accumulation and bacteria are staved off and the teeth remain healthy and white.
More curious? Learn how teeth whitening works.