Many people aspire to have a pearly white smile. But your teeth can start to develop dark stains or turn yellow as time passes, disrupting your ideal dental aesthetic. This discoloration can hurt your self-esteem and overall confidence.
Your dentist can evaluate your smile and offer cosmetic dental solutions that can brighten your tooth color to achieve your aesthetic goals. The treatment you pursue will depend on the specific kind of discoloration on your teeth. Read on to learn more about the types of stains that can form on your teeth and how your dentist can help you get rid of them.
Tooth Surface Stains
Discoloration that occurs in the top portion of the enamel, the outermost layer of your tooth, is known as an extrinsic stain or surface stain. You can remove some surface stains with your usual oral hygiene regimen thanks to the abrasive ingredients in toothpaste. But many surface stains develop just deep enough where your toothbrush cannot reach.
These extrinsic stains often form due to consuming foods or beverages that contain staining agents. So be careful when you eat or drink dark-colored items like coffee, tea, or red wine.
However, your dentist can work with you to get rid of these extrinsic dental stains with targeted whitening treatment. They can offer either an in-office procedure or a take-home kit based on your preferences.
The in-office whitening treatment involves a dentist applying a bleaching gel to the teeth and activating the ingredients with a laser. This will lift dental stains closer to the surface so that they can easily wash away.
The take-home whitening kit involves custom-made trays that contain this bleaching gel. The personalized fit ensures an even application of this treatment so that you can gradually see dental stains fade away in a similar process as the in-office option. Wear these trays as directed to achieve optimal results without side effects.
Intrinsic Dental Stains
This teeth whitening treatment cannot address all types of dental stains. You might form discoloration very deep in the enamel that bleaching products cannot access. These stains are known as intrinsic stains.
They develop usually due to factors outside of a patient’s control, such as aging or medication side effects. Your dentist will need to employ alternative cosmetic dental treatments to enhance your tooth color.
The dentist may suggest tooth bonding treatment to brighten your smile when you have intrinsic stains. During this procedure, a dentist uses composite resin to cover discoloration, molding the material for an even and bright finish. Bonding can form new stains if you are not careful, so take good care of your smile and dental work after this treatment.
Porcelain veneers can offer more long-lasting aesthetic benefits. The dentist will adhere custom-made caps to the front of the teeth that will cover stains, leaving your smile whiter and more regular in appearance. Veneers resist staining and can remain in place for fifteen years with proper maintenance.