Teeth stains are marks on the teeth that are not easily removed with a toothbrush. Teeth stains come in a variety of colors, including yellow, white, brown, green, and purple.
Teeth stains are caused by various factors, including certain foods and drinks, poor oral hygiene, genetics, and medications. Teeth staining occurs on the surfaces of teeth (extrinsic) or below the enamel (intrinsic).
While teeth stains are primarily an aesthetic concern, they can be a source of embarrassment, leading to reduced self-esteem.
Most people develop some degree of tooth discoloration at some point during their lives, especially as they age and the body’s natural chemistry affects the color of their teeth. Tooth discoloration is one of the most common reasons why patients visit the dentist.
Extrinsic staining, sometimes called external staining, is staining on the surface of a tooth.
Extrinsic staining occurs when colored compounds from these sources are absorbed into the surfaces of teeth.
Common foods that cause extrinsic tooth discoloration include:
Intrinsic staining, sometimes called internal staining, is staining that is embedded inside a tooth rather than on the surface of a tooth.
Intrinsic staining is caused by a variety of factors, including:
Teeth with intrinsic stains often appear grayish. Intrinsic staining cannot be easily removed with a professional cleaning or teeth whitening. It requires a dental restoration like a veneer or crown or internal bleaching.
Age-related discoloration includes both intrinsic (internal) and extrinsic (external) tooth discoloration.
A few intrinsic factors cause age-related tooth discoloration. For example, the core tissue of the teeth, the dentin, yellows over time. As we age, the enamel on teeth surfaces becomes thinner, allowing the dentin to show through.
Also, as we age, extrinsic factors (e.g., dark-pigmented foods, drinks, and tobacco) are more likely to cause discoloration if preventative measures aren’t taken and whitening treatments aren’t used.
Common factors that cause yellow teeth stains include:
Common factors that cause brown teeth stains include:
Common factors that cause purple teeth stains include:
Common factors that cause white spots or stains on the teeth include:
Common natural remedies used to remove teeth stains include:
You should avoid using excessive hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, which can lead to gum irritation, tooth sensitivity, and enamel erosion. Instead, you should use products specifically designed for whitening teeth. When using home whitening mouthwash or toothpaste, always make sure to read the product instructions beforehand.
Before using natural remedies for teeth stains, consult a dentist to avoid causing damage to your teeth.
LED teeth whitening is a whitening method that uses a blue LED light and hydrogen peroxide to bleach teeth. Combined with a bleaching agent, the blue LED light causes a chemical reaction that whitens the teeth quickly and effectively.
This patented teeth whitening kit combines LED light and Guided Light Optics (GLO) warming heat technology to accelerate the hydrogen peroxide whitening process for faster, easier, and more effective whitening.
The GLO teeth whitening system lets you whiten both top and bottom teeth simultaneously in just 8 minutes.
GLO is FDA-registered. The whitening gel is vegan, gluten/latex/cruelty-free, and made in the USA.
This teeth whitening kit comes with trays and a LED light to whiten both the top and bottom teeth. Auraglow's whitening gel features 35 percent carbamide peroxide, close to the level of whitening agent used in dental offices.
Snow delivers a professional-level whitening experience that’s enamel-safe for those with sensitive teeth and gums.
Each application of Snow takes only 9 minutes, and most users get a whiter smile after just one use.
Cost: $149 to $200
This teeth whitening kit uses LED blue light to activate a hydrogen peroxide gel that’s applied to the teeth via a rechargeable tray.
This tooth whitening system was designed to whiten teeth without sensitivity.
Each application takes only 10 minutes, and most users see results after ten days.
LED teeth whitening is safe and effective when users follow the manufacturer's protocols. Before using any of these teeth whitening options, consult with a dental professional to make sure it’s right for you. After you whiten at home, avoid drinks that cause stains, particularly red wine, tea, and dark sodas.
Natural teeth whitening products use all-natural ingredients (such as essential oils and botanicals) to whiten the teeth. They don’t contain toxins, peroxide, artificial ingredients, or alcohol.
This teeth whitening system uses both red and blue LED lights to soothe gum tissue and whiten the appearance of teeth. Primal Life’s peroxide-free gel is made with extra virgin olive oil, essential oils, and clays to brighten your pearly whites.
This teeth whitener is cordless and takes only 15 minutes a day to whiten teeth.
Cost: $59 to $79
This vegan teeth whitening kit is made in the USA with kosher, gluten-free, and organic ingredients. This kit is easy-to-use and offers professional results in as fast as one treatment. With the Cali White Vegan Teeth Whitening Kit, users can experience a whiter smile in 7 days.
Lumineux’s Oral Essentials is the first-ever certified non-toxic, microbiome-safe, and clinically-proven teeth whitening regimen on the market.
This kit uses a vegan whitening gel made of potent oils to break up stains for smoother, cleaner, and brighter-looking teeth without stripping enamel or causing sensitivity.
Professional teeth whitening is performed in-office by a licensed dentist.
During professional teeth whitening treatment, your dentist will apply a hydrogen peroxide solution. They may or may not use heat or a special light to accelerate the bleaching process.
Professional teeth whitening is an expensive option with an average cost of $650, but it may be necessary for individuals with very discolored teeth.
Professional teeth whitening is best for most people with permanent teeth and good oral health. Dentists will use a special barrier to protect your gum tissue from burns or irritation.
Tooth-colored fillings, crowns, and caps are not able to be whitened like natural teeth. This treatment also works well for anyone with stubborn, yellow stains. Brown teeth may not respond as well, and teeth with gray tones may not bleach at all.
Professional teeth whitening is safe in the hands of a skilled dentist. Your dentist can tell you whether professional teeth whitening is right for you.
To avoid extrinsic teeth stains, brush your teeth after eating foods that can cause discoloration, brush your teeth twice daily, and floss at least once a day.
Other ways to keep your teeth white include:
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