There are 3 main categories of tooth discolorations that dentists agree on:
1.Extrinsic stains: this type of stain occurs on the outer surface of the tooth. Usually this type of stain results from build-up of pigmented residue such as food and drink. These pigmented food and drink particles stick to the outer surface of the tooth. Most commonly they occur from tobacco use as well as drinking dark liquids like coffee and wine. The easiest way to get rid of this type of discoloration is with good oral hygiene at home and visiting the dentist for professional cleanings every 6 months.
2.Intrinsic stains: this type of tooth stain occurs below the surface of the tooth, when the staining particles make their way through the outer surface of the tooth and accumulate in the enamel. Getting rid of this type of staining takes a little more work than brushing. Usually whitening procedures with bleach either in a professional setting or using at home whitening products does the trick.
3.Age-Related stains: this type of stain occurs as the enamel coating of the tooth wears away. The dentin layer of the tooth is more exposed and is often of a darker shade than the enamel. Consistent use of dark beverages and tobacco in combination with the wearing of enamel often lead to this dark staining later in life.
The most common way to treat deep discolorations in teeth is to use whitening products that incorporate either Hydrogen Peroxide or Carbamide Peroxide in the formulas. The active ingredients in these whitening formulas penetrate deep into the enamel to get the discolored molecules. Oxygen molecules react with the discolored ones, as a result breaking them apart, leaving you with a brighter smile.
*Pro Tip* No matter the kind of whitening you choose to do, either in-office or at home, make sure you visit your dentist every 6 months for check-ups.
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