If you are unhappy with the color or appearance of your teeth then you are far from alone. More than half of Americans report having insecurities about how their teeth look. Teeth stains are a common source of those dental concerns.

Are you researching how to get rid of teeth stains? Knowing the difference between deep stains and surface stains can help you determine which treatment is best for you. Read on to learn about the different types of teeth stains and your treatment options.

Intrinsic Versus Extrinsic Stains: What’s the Difference?

Before you become a candidate for cosmetic dentistry or restorative dentistry, your dentist will need to determine what type of dental stains you have. The following are the three most common types of dental staining. 

Extrinsic Stains

Extrinsic stains refer to discoloration of the outer layer of enamel. Surface-level staining is fairly common and often results from consuming coffee, wine, and other types of food and drinks that stain teeth. Smoking can also lead to extrinsic stains that leave teeth looking yellow, dull, or darkish in color.

Intrinsic Stains

Intrinsic stains reach deep into the enamel and the underlying structures of the teeth known as dentin. This type of discoloration can result from medications, tooth decay, and overuse of fluoride. Intrinsic stains are more difficult to conceal because the discoloration is ingrained deep within the tooth. 

Age-Related Staining

Beyond intrinsic and extrinsic stains, your dentist may find that you have age-related stains. As we age, our enamel wears down. This process can happen more quickly depending on diet and other factors. As aging thins enamel, the yellow dentin under the enamel can show. 

What Are My Treatment Options for Different Types of Teeth Stains?

At Slone Dental, we love giving our patients bright, beautiful smiles. No matter what type of dental stains you have, our dentists will customize a treatment plan that restores luster to your enamel. Here are a few of your treatment options that can whiten teeth. 

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a great treatment option for extrinsic stains. If years of consuming coffee and wine leave your teeth discolored, professional teeth whitening at our Lexington, KY, dental practice can erase years or decades of stains.

Our dentists have access to professional bleaching gels that you cannot buy over the counter. Under the careful watch of our medical team, the special whitening agents will break down and remove strains. You will leave our office with teeth that are several shades brighter.

Maintaining the cosmetic results of teeth whitening requires visits to our office every couple of years to repeat the whitening process. Teeth whitening is one of our most cost-effective cosmetic treatments. 

Gum Contouring

Gum contouring does not whiten teeth, but it can greatly enhance your smile when used in conjunction with teeth whitening or another treatment. Your dentist will use an advanced laser to gently remove excess gum tissue. The results can remove a gummy smile and leave your teeth looking larger and fuller.

Dental Veneers

If you suffer from intrinsic stains, you may be a great candidate for dental veneers. No matter how discolored your teeth are, veneers can conceal discoloration and other cosmetic blemishes behind a beautiful shell.

Your dentist in Lexington, KY, will fabricate your custom veneers to perfectly match your smile. This means that your treatment will look completely natural and beautiful. 

Veneers can address a wide range of dental blemishes like small chips and even gaps between teeth. If you are looking for drastic cosmetic results that eliminate discolored teeth, veneers may be the perfect treatment option. Veneers can last well over a decade when maintained and cleaned. 

Dental Crowns

Extrinsic stains can also be treated using dental crowns. The natural-looking caps completely cover and protect teeth.

Dental crowns are made from porcelain and other materials that match the color and luster of teeth. One benefit of having crowns placed is that the prosthetics last for well over a decade when properly taken care of.

Tips for Maintaining a Brighter Smile 

Has this overview of dental stains left you wondering how you can prevent stains in the first place? The most important steps you can take to prevent dental discoloration include brushing at least twice a day and scheduling regular visits to our dental office.

You can further enhance brushing power by using toothpaste products that contain low levels of whitening agents. Purchasing an electric toothbrush can help you better remove plaque that leads to tooth discoloration. Flossing can also help prevent plaque buildup that eventually turns to tartar.  

Beyond maintaining good oral hygiene, we encourage all of our patients to be mindful of how diet affects tooth stains. Certain foods and drinks like wine, coffee, tea, and chocolate can leave teeth looking tarnished. Sugary and acidic foods can erode enamel, which can lead to further dental discoloration.

Finally, remember that certain foods can help keep your teeth white and healthy. Crunchy vegetables, for example, do not contain sugar that can lead to tooth decay.

Veggies like celery have fibers that scrape away plaque. Anytime you can replace sweets with crunchy vegetables, you should consider it. 

Brighten Your Smile Today

Are you tired of having a dull or yellowish smile? There are multiple types of teeth stains, and all of them are easily treatable.

At Slone Dental, our dentists strive to build lasting relationships with our patients. Contact our office today to learn more about your treatment options. We look forward to brightening your smile!