In the past two decades, research into signs and symptoms of tooth discoloration requiring treatment has been readily pursued and revealing. One such general condition often diagnosed by dentists is that of fluorosis. This is believed to be discoloration caused by an over-exposure to fluoride. In children it may present as pitting of teeth, and in adults as changes in bone structure.
The type of teeth staining protocol best applied is believed to be based on diagnosis by a qualified dentist. There are products available from the dental office that are safe, effective and carry the American Dental Association’s endorsement seal. Moreover, the American Dental Association recognizes some of the following teeth whitening toothpastes for home use to treat surface stains that arise from food and beverage consumption. These may include:
– Crest 3D White Strips
– Colgate PreviDent brush-on gel
– Colgate Total Advance Whitening Toothpaste
– Sensodyne Sensitivity Travel Size Toothpaste
Types of Teeth Staining Measures
Peroxide bleaching agents are often used in the dental office, which serve to remove internal discoloration found in teeth perhaps through x-ray. Of note, abrasive teeth staining products remove surface or external discoloration. Both types of agents may be used in a specific office procedure performed by a dentist. Furthermore, home products for teeth staining using an abrasive or peroxide-based are generally used by the patient with regular dental follow-up.
A procedure known as micro-abrasion is generally used in teeth staining to remove discoloration from identified teeth. Again, this condition may result from the diagnosis of fluorosis described above.
Whitening toothpastes remove surface stains using the abrasives contained therein. These fall under the label, over-the-counter measures, and may be recommended by dentists but not contain the approval seal from the American Dental Association. Lack of association endorsement does not mean that a given product is ineffective or substandard. Manufacturers of teeth whitening products apply for, and pay to have the seal of approval attached to their product.
Facts to Consider
Overall, teeth whitening products are noted to perform best with yellow or brown-colored stained teeth. Research indicates that teeth showing blue-gray discoloration often require up to six months of home treatment alongside dental office treatment and scheduled follow-up.
Teeth found to have dark-stain discoloration are the most challenging for recognized treatment protocols. In such cases, bonds or veneers may be used by the dentist to cover stains.
Tooth whitening is temporary. The effect of any tooth whitening procedure is largely dependent on the foods and beverages consumed by the patient. Choosing foods and beverages that are less likely to cause quickened staining may result in treatment lasting for up to one year. An occasional touch-up may be required to restore the wanted color. On the other hand, foods and beverages leading to tooth stains can see a treatment start to fade after one month.
At the present time, no dental insurance is found to cover the expense for treatment of teeth staining. At present, no whitening agents that use a laser have received American Dental Association approval.
– Avoid foods and beverages as much as possible that contribute to teeth staining.
– Use a straw when drinking beverages known to contribute to teeth staining. This is said to protect the front teeth.
– Floss once daily and brush twice daily.
– Use a teeth whitening toothpaste once a week, and brush using a regular toothpaste as recommended the other six days. This will remove plaque and surface stains.
Most tooth stain products and protocols either administered by the dentist, or purchased over-the-counter, remedy diagnosed tooth discoloration conditions. Thus restoration as intervention is not necessary.