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Stains That Can Be Removed With Teeth Whitening

Woman Smiling showing teeth before and after whitening

Stains Teeth Whitening Can Remove

Teeth whitening procedures can brighten teeth that have yellowed and dulled, but for many who are considering whitening treatment the question of whether or not whitening removes stains pops up. Stain removal and teeth whitening both are synonymous with one another, but in fact, treat different aspects of teeth. To properly remove stains, the cause of those stains needs to be addressed first by your dentist before receiving treatment.

Types of Stains and Their Causes

Teeth stains vary according to the amount of discoloration, the type of stain present, and its cause. Teeth stains come in two forms: extrinsic and intrinsic.

  • Extrinsic staining – This type of stain is a superficial one, appearing yellow or brown and spreading over the entirety of the tooth. Extrinsic stains are often the easiest to treat, as they’re usually caused by food and beverages that have intense colors and tannins in them. High concentrations of tannins and food colors can leave a tooth entirely stained, even with regular brushing habits.
  • Intrinsic staining – This form of tooth stain doesn’t spread over the entirety of the tooth, but rather is localized and dark in color. These stains appear deeper within the tooth and can’t be removed with regular brushing habits. Intrinsic stains are harder to remove for dentists and indicate severe cavities when accompanied by pain and swelling.

The Benefits of Teeth Whitening

So, how do dentists treat teeth stains? Teeth whitening can treat stains, but it depends on the type of stain you have and what caused those stains to appear. With normal stain removal, it can remove extrinsic stains, and is normally done through a routine checkup. They’re cleaned with an ultrasonic cleaner and are polished with an air-flow prophy polish, which removes the surface stains and leaves the teeth smooth and clean. However, teeth whitening is a separate treatment and can treat intrinsic and extrinsic stains using a variety of methods, including custom-made teeth whitening trays and take-home whitening gels. Teeth whitening treatment can remove these stains through the following process:

  • First, the teeth will be cleaned of any present plaque or debris that has collected to the surface

  • Your local dentist will perform a dental exam to look for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth cracks

  • Next, rubber dams and cheek refractors will be used to access your teeth and prevent the bleaching gel from irritating the mouth

  • then, the bleaching gel, which contains 30% more hydrogen peroxide than at-home products, will be applied for approximately 15 to 30 minutes

  • Once active, the bleaching gel will be washed off and curing light will be used to continue activating the bleaching process.

  • Once the fresh after gel is applied, the rubber dam and cheek refractors are removed to allow for the tooth shade to form.

Once you get a whitening treatment, it can provide:

  • A whiter, brighter smile

  • Cleaner teeth free from stains

  • Protection from tooth decay and gum disease

  • Boost in confidence and self-esteem

To learn more about teeth whitening procedures and how they can help remove stains from your teeth, please contact Dr. Shadi Heidarian at Heritage Park Dental in Palo Alto, CA, for more information.

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