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How to Remove Teeth Stains at Home

Brown or yellow stains usually occur between the teeth or near the gum line.  These stains can come from tobacco, pigmented food, sauces and liquids.  The fastest and most effective way of getting rid of tooth stains is to have your teeth professionally cleaned.  

But there are a few dentist approved stain remedies you can try at home.

1. Use a dry brush

When your toothbrush is dry, the bristles are stiffer and may remove stain more effectively than a wet soggy toothbrush.

Try brushing the area that collects stain with a dry toothbrush before you brush the rest of your teeth with toothpaste.  Be gentle and don't scrub.  Press the toothbrush into the teeth and use a circular or massaging motion.  

2. Baking Soda

Baking soda is non abrasive and works well for some tooth stains.  Try dipping your wet toothbrush into a bit of baking soda then brush the stained areas.  You can also floss the stained areas before rinsing the baking soda off.   It will take a little getting used to the taste but is worth a try.  

3. Hydrogen Peroxide

The brown bottle of hydrogen peroxide diluted can be used as a mouthwash or mix a few drops with baking soda to make a homemade toothpaste.  I don't recommend using this in place of toothpaste.  You need fluoridated toothpaste to prevent cavities.  Use this mixture as a stain remover.

4. Add floss

There's nothing that cleans between the teeth as well as dental floss.  If you floss daily you are less likely to have stains between your teeth.  Flossing prevents stain but is less effective at removing it.    

What You Should Know

  • Some whitening toothpastes can harm your teeth.  All toothpastes have an abrasivity score.  I have listed abrasivity scores of the most commonly used toothpastes here.
  • Keeping your teeth squeaky clean is the best defense against surface stain.  Many tooth stains occurs in areas that you don't brush or floss effectively.  
  • Though surface tooth stain doesn't look good it is often not harmful to your teeth and can be easily removed.  But some stained areas are cavities and need to be treated.  See your dentist if you are worried about tooth stains or if you have any other symptoms.
  • Sadly, some stains are not removable.  These intrinsic stains are not on the surface but have seeped through the enamel and are not removable through any of the above methods.  Some intrinsic stains occur while the tooth is forming before it has even erupted.  Fluorisis and enamel decalcification are 2 examples of stains that are difficult to remove.  For these stubborn intrinsic stains tooth whitening can often help but may not completely remove the discoloration.  In some cases, tooth veneers or crowns are the only effective way to have a whiter smile.

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