Tooth Staining, what is it and how Should I Remove it?

Tooth Staining, what is it and how Should I Remove it?

There are two types of tooth staining that can be seen. One is from outside sources such as food and the other is from internal causes such as medications that you may have taken (like certain antibiotics as a child). There is not really anything that will change the colour of your teeth if it is caused by something that has internally stained your teeth.

Tooth Staining cause by tea before treatment with the hygienist
External Tooth Staining caused by tea

Most external tooth staining is caused by:

  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Red wine
  • Food (e.g. curry, berries, herbs, beetroot and soy sauce)
  • Smoking

What can you do about tooth staining?

Tooth Staining after picture once it has been removed by they hygienist
Tea staining removed by New Street Dental Care Hygienist Chloe
1. Prevention

The best way is to prevent it from happening in the first place by avoiding food and drink that cause the tooth staining. However, this can be very difficult as most of the things that cause it are very tasty! Try rinsing with water after or chewing sugar free chewing gum to stimulate saliva to flush it away.

2. Stain-removing toothpaste

You can try a whitening toothpaste or mouthwash but the ingredients that help with the whitening are regulated and sometimes aren’t strong enough to remove the tooth staining. Be careful though as some whitening toothpastes can be very abrasive and cause sensitivity.

3. Shop bought tooth whitening kits (NOT recommended)

Tooth whitening kits that are available in the shop are not usually recommended by dentists as the trays do not fit you properly. Also, they can allow the stronger whitening ingredients to leak out of the trays and can cause damage to your gums.

4. Visit your hygienist

Your hygienist can remove most surface staining with their ultrasonic instruments and some may even offer air flow polishing to remove stubborn staining. This involves a mixture of air, water and a very fine polishing powder that is blown onto the teeth and lifts the staining (see photo above for the results of this).

5. Professional home tooth whitening kits

You dentist can supply professional home tooth whitening kits, where they make special trays that fit you and only you. The whitening gel in the bespoke trays can then stay in contact with your teeth while you use them at home until you get the desired effect. It is also a very effective way of changing the colour of your teeth. The hygienist here at New Street Dental uses this and will be doing a piece on it shortly. However, it cannot always work on some intrinsic staining.

6. Laser tooth whitening

Laser whitening is also available at your dentist, this involves a high energy light (usually ultraviolet or similar) which makes the whitening gel work faster and more effectively. Some beauty salons will offer this, but it is actually illegal for anyone other than a registered dental professional to do this type of whitening. This type can cause dehydration of your teeth and leave temporary white spots that will fade over time. This is also sometimes not advised by some dentists if you get tooth sensitivity as it can make it worse.

Chloe, Clarissa and Julian Chen, the team members of New Street Dental Care

If you have any further questions regarding the treatments mentioned here please do not hesitate to contact New Street Dental Care on 01264 301 301 or email us on and our friendly staff will be willing to help.