Fixing stained teeth

Are stained teeth cramping your style? Do you find yourself smiling less or holding back due to discolored teeth? Many people struggle with tooth discoloration, which can arise from a number of factors including age, lifestyle, medications, or even trauma. If you’d like to put the sparkle back in your pearly whites, read on for a number of options you might choose to pursue, from affordable at-home remedies to more professional in-office procedures.

Can I fix stained teeth on a budget?

If you’re looking for budget-friendly options for whitening your teeth, rest assured that there are a number of things you can do at home to whiten your teeth with reasonably priced products.  The cheapest and easiest way to lighten minimally stained teeth is switching to a whitening toothpaste, which contains ingredients that work to lighten your teeth every time you brush. While whitening toothpastes will not provide fast or dramatic results, they can lighten discolored teeth over time, and are a good option to use alone or in combination with other products.

Another popular product that can be used at home are whitening strips. The strips, which contain a peroxide-based whitener, are applied to the teeth every day for a short period of time (two weeks is a common timeframe) and are safe to use in the privacy of your home. These vary in price but are generally very affordable; a number of whitening strips can be purchased for as little as $20-40. Some are even formulated for sensitive teeth.

For more stubborn or deep-set stains, there are at-home bleaching trays similar to those used in dental offices that you can purchase for home use. These trays consist of a small tray filled with a peroxide or bleach-based paste or gel that are inserted and maintained in your mouth for a short time every day for a longer period of time, such as one month. While the trays that you can purchase in stores are not as effective as those that can be provided by your dentist, due to the lack of custom fit and less powerful ingredients, they can be a good option for those who can’t afford the expense of professional whitening procedures. On average, at-home bleaching trays cost between $150-300.

What other options are there to fix stained teeth?

If these at-home remedies don’t provide enough whitening power or you would simply rather let a professional manage the lightening of your teeth, keep in mind that your dentist is an excellent resource with powerful tools at her or his disposal. Your dentist may recommend bleaching trays; these, like those used at home, utilize bleach and other whitening ingredients. The solutions your dentist will use in her or his office are more powerful that those you can buy in the stores, however, and your dentist might also use heat or light to intensify the whitening power of these products.

It is important to know that some kinds of tooth discoloration cannot be treated with these methods. If the darkening of your teeth is not due to simple surface-level stains but a more complex manifestation of genetics, aging, or certain trauma or medications like tetracyclyine, you might consider veneers, which are thin slips of porcelain or composite materials that are bonded to the surface of your teeth to provide a sparkling new appearance. While these are without a doubt the most expensive of all of the whitening procedures, they are a durable and beautiful solution that, for many people, is well worth the expense.

Remember, your teeth are strong but they are not invulnerable. It is important to stick to these approved methods for teeth whitening for reasons of safety. The last thing you want to do is to damage your teeth trying to make them look better! Before you try a DIY remedy recommended by a friend or internet source, be sure to check with your dentist first. Better safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your teeth! While your dentist may steer you away from the concoction that has been recommended to you, they’ll likely have sound advice on safe and effective alternatives.

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