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How to Remove Stains from Teeth

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    How many times have you met people with impeccable smiles that have gotten your attention? Keeping your natural teeth white and healthy is not as difficult as it seems. You just need to follow an effective dental routine.

    What is more, you can opt for a variety of tooth whitening treatments available over the counter and at dental clinics. This post offers insight into some stain-removing treatments. It will also touch on the type of stains and possible causes. Read on.

    If you need help getting stains from your teeth, get in touch with us and arrange an appointment in our Bedok and Geylang dental clinic.

    Key Takeaways

    • Stains can form on both the outer layer and the inside of the tooth.
    • Surface stains are much easier to remove.
    • Using too much whitening product too often can lead to sensitivity, that's why it's best to leave the job to a dentist.
    • Restorative treatments are great for stains that don't respond to normal whitening.
    • If discoloured teeth occur for no medical reason, they do not pose a health risk to patients. It's more of an aesthetic concern. Regardless, you should always try to keep your teeth clean.

    What Causes Tooth Stains on Tooth Enamel Layer

    dentist choosing colour palette for tooth staining treatment on a patient

    There is a wide variety of causes behind spots and tooth discolouration. A stain develops when the tooth structure gets penetrated by a pigmented agent. Here are some triggers for this:

    • Poor oral hygiene: Good oral hygiene is essential to keeping your pearly whites in tip-top shape and preventing tooth discolouration from occurring.
    • If you don't brush correctly after each meal, you let food pigments stain the tooth surface. Not to mention, you create a good environment for bad bacteria to thrive and trigger tooth decay.
    • Certain foods: Some foods are coloured by pigments, which can stain your teeth. These include blackberries, tomato-based sauces, balsamic vinegar, and beets.
    • Drinks: Long-term consumption of beverages like coffee, red wine, and tea can cause stains and make the teeth appear yellow.
    • Tobacco use: Smoking tobacco is one of the biggest threats to good oral health, as well as the appearance of your smile. Nicotine tends to stain the teeth in a severe and irreversible way.
    • Too much fluoride: Believe it or not, too much fluoride might leave white spots on your teeth and give rise to tooth discolouration.
    • Old fillings: Old fillings get yellow over time. Getting a new filling can restore the natural colour of your smile.
    • Medical treatments: Certain medications increase your probability of getting teeth stains. This applies especially to antibiotics that contain tetracycline, which, if ingested in childhood, could lead to grey stains. Tooth discolouration will be more or less pronounced depending on the amount used.
    • Tooth decay: An advanced tooth cavity will appear as a black stain on the affected tooth. The good news is that once you remove it, it will be replaced with a filling that matches the natural colour of your teeth. Good oral hygiene should be your first line of defence against cavities and tooth decay.
    • Trauma: Direct blows to the jaw can induce different types of injury, leading to pulpal necrosis (that is, the nerve dies). As it begins to decompose, the tooth will progressively change its colour from yellow to brown to black.

    Types of Teeth Stains

    Stains can be divided into different types.

    • Extrinsic stains. Extrinsic stains present themselves as light or dark stains or brown spots. You can see them on a tooth or between the teeth. The most common causes are poor hygiene and high consumption of pigmented foods and drinks. This type does not usually pose a risk beyond the aesthetic aspect of it.
    • Soft deposit spots. They are brown or white and they usually have a bacterial origin. With persistent poor hygiene, plaque and tartar build-up, give rise to these spots.
    • Intrinsic stains. White or grey, they usually appear as lines on the tooth enamel. This type is brought on by pre-existing conditions or drugs with strong chemical composition. They can be age-related too.

    How to Remove Brown Stains between Teeth

    dentist removing stain between teeth

    There are different over-the-counter options and in-office treatments that can help you remove teeth stains. If you want to avoid future ones, perhaps you should consider changing your lifestyle habits to prevent tooth decay.

    *Please note that at-home whitening products should be used in moderation or they can cause tooth sensitivity.

    Tooth whitening strips

    Whitening strips are an at-home whitening solution that you can implement to achieve a healthy smile. It does not damage the enamel, nor does it contain toxic ingredients.

    You don't have to talk to a dentist about these but you can still ask them for some tips on proper application.

    The way it works is simple. You just have to peel off the strip with dry hands and apply the adhesive side to the tooth. Leave the strip on for 30-60 minutes and then throw it away.

    Whitening toothpaste

    With whitening toothpastes, you can easily and naturally remove plaque or extrinsic stains. In addition to making your teeth whiter, it will help reduce and prevent bleeding, gum inflammation, and other dental problems.

    Restorative treatments for stained teeth

    If your stains are caused by tooth decay (dental caries), the wisest solution is to address all the damage in time. Your dental professional will put in fillings to treat cavities. And if the pulp is damaged, then root canal treatment is in order. At last, severe cases of staining that don't respond to any whitening treatment may be camouflaged with dental veneers. Speaking of which, make sure to read our post comparing veneers and teeth whitening treatments.

    In-office bleaching for deeply stained teeth

    If you are dealing with intrinsic stains, over-the-counter products will be of no use. The reason is that they are only good at removing stains from the teeth surfaces. Therefore, your best bet would be to get professional tooth whitening with hydrogen peroxide. It can often address intrinsic stains. If that doesn’t work, your dentist might offer veneers.

    Check out our post about how to maintain the results from your teeth whitening procedure.


    What are brown spots on teeth?

    The brown lines and small imperfections on your teeth are tooth stains. These may or may not indicate a health problem.

    How do you remove deep stains from teeth?

    If you are wondering how to remove deep stains from teeth, you should book a consultation with your dental hygienist. The most effective alternative is in-office whitening services.

    How can I remove stains from my teeth naturally?

    You can get hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide in smaller concentrations. Baking soda will make do. Although it isn't necessarily effective in whitening teeth, it can potentially reduce surface stains. Another way to go is apple cider vinegar. But make sure to dilute it with water beforehand and always wash away any acids left after you are done.

    Can dental stains be removed?

    Yes, the majority of stains can be eliminated or reduced. All you have to do is set on a proven method for removing tooth stains, such as professional whitening and strips, etc.

    How to remove yellow stains from teeth?

    Try brushing your teeth with baking soda or go with scaling and polishing which will get rid of tartar build-up. Stick to healthy foods and drinks. Cut down on drinking coffee and red wine to avoid stained teeth.

    How to remove pomegranate stains from teeth?

    Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with a few drops of water to make a paste. Smear it onto the teeth. Now, brush like you normally would. Bicarb soda has mild abrasives, so as long as you don’t overdo it, it won’t damage your pearly whites.

    How to remove red wine stains from teeth?

    A smart thing would be to wipe your teeth with wine wipes immediately after drinking. This will prevent the first onset of stains.

    How to remove nicotine stains from teeth?

    If you want to know how to remove smoking stains from teeth, it is vital that you always brush right after smoking. This way, you will keep your teeth free from stain-causing matter. Make sure to include an anti-tar mouthwash as well, as it will help you prevent the formation of stains.

    How to remove amoxicillin stains from teeth?

    If the stains occur in childhood, they are more likely to be eliminated over time with thorough brushing. The other option is to use professional whitening for moderate cases of discoloured teeth and severely stained teeth.

    How to remove betel nut stains from teeth?

    You should leave this job to the dentist. They can employ a hand scale or power scale to scrape the stain off your teeth.

    However, the job should be done carefully and systematically; otherwise, there is a risk of tooth damage. Other whitening products may be available depending on your case.

    How to remove black stains from teeth?

    It depends on the cause. In most cases, black stains from your teeth can be removed with dental hygiene instruments and an ultrasonic device. If old fillings form black stains on the gum line and other areas, they should be replaced.

    How to remove brown stains from teeth?

    Your first option to get rid of brown spots is teeth-whitening toothpaste. If it isn’t effective enough, resort to custom trays or professional bleaching. If only one tooth is yellowish brown, you can also have dental veneers done. They will basically cover the stain.

    How to remove mouthwash stains from teeth?

    Some mouthwashes can cause stains on the teeth and tongue, especially those that contain chlorhexidine. If your dentist has recommended you avail yourself of such a product, be sure to wash your teeth an extra time each day.

    How to remove tea stains from teeth?

    Make it a point to buy teeth-whitening toothpaste or smokers toothpaste. Use it at least twice a day. If that doesn’t do the trick, feel free to talk to a dentist about other treatments.

    How do I remove tetracycline stains?

    Stain removal is possible with the help of a 10-20% solution of a bleaching agent - e.g. carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. This work wonders on yellow teeth and age-related spots in general.

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