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Are you one of the many Americans who are unhappy with their smile? Have you tried teeth whitening, either from your dentist or from home? If you have, you’re far from alone. In fact, teeth whitening is one of the most common procedures. While your dentist can help, do you ever wonder what you can do to keep your teeth white on your own? To help you attain or retain a smile you can share with confidence, we’re happy to discuss the different types of stains, what causes discolored teeth, and a few treatments a dentist can suggest to benefit you.

There are two main types of stains: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic stains appear on your enamel, the transparent outer layer of your teeth. Fortunately, these stains can usually be removed by a simple whitening procedure. This type of stain is usually caused by:

  • Foods: Highly pigmented foods like berries or candy can stain your teeth.
  • Drinks: Coffees, colas, and teas may darken your teeth.
  • Tobacco: Smoking or chewing can also stain your smile. This can happen regardless of whether you use cigarettes, a pipe, or chew the tobacco.

The other type of stain is intrinsic. This typically is a stain affecting the inner layer (or layers) of your teeth, which are visible because your enamel is clear. This type of staining can be the result of:

  • Fluorosis: This is a condition caused by an overexposure to fluoride at an early age.
  • Trauma: If you hit your tooth, or experience some kind of trauma, your tooth could die and darken. Similarly, if your tooth is injured, it could bleed and darken your smile.
  • Medications: Many medications can darken your teeth.

Unfortunately, typical bleaching procedures won’t usually remove these stains. However, a dentist could offer solutions such as crowns, veneers, or bonding. Based on your unique circumstances, your dentist could offer other solutions as well.

Do you have any more questions about how you can have your dream style? Would you like to learn more about the different types of stains. If so, please feel free to contact us soon. We are eager to hear from you.