The Smart Side of Beautiful

Teeth Stains: Causes & Removal

by Nicole C. Bridge
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Thereare a lot of products on the market for brightening your smile. When you'redeciding on the option that might work best for you, it helps to understand what causes teeth stains in the first place.

Not All Stains Are the Same

Thereare two types of stains that cause discoloration. The first is extrinsic tooth stains that form on the surface of the teeth. Dark drinks like coffee, wine and cola can stain, especially if you consume them frequently. Even intensely colored foods like dark berries and balsamic vinegar can hang around and cling to your enamel, causing it to change color. Then there are intrinsic stains that develop inside the tooth enamel and cause the internal structure of the tooth to darken. Intrinsic tooth stains can appear due to a number of factors, including stains which seep down below the surface of the teeth from wine, smoking etc.

How to Remove Stains

Accordingto the American Dental Association, a whitening product can sometimes act as a bleaching agent, which causes the actual tooth color to change.Non-bleaching whitening products, on the other hand, use physical action to lift surface stains. Before you start a whitening treatment of any kind, you might want to ask your dentist to help determine what kind of staining you have. From there, you can choose a treatment plan that will work best for you.Here are the options:

  1. At-Home teeth whitening. Whitening toothpastes like Optic White® Lasting White actually remove stains beneath the surface so that they deeply whiten and form a shield around the teeth, making it harder for new surface stains to develop. There are also whitening systems like the OpticWhite® Toothbrush + Whitening Pen. The brush is engineered with polishing cups that lift stains off the surface of your teeth. The whitening pen bleaches the teeth.
  2. Professional teeth whitening. In-office whitening is pretty fast and normally only takes about an hour. The procedure is more expensive than over-the-counter whitening products, but if -you're in a rush to get that dazzling smile, this may be the option for you.

Speakwith your dentist to find out which option might work best for your type of staining. Once you understand what causes teeth stains, you can figure what you need to do enjoy a brighter and whiter smile!

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