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The smile of individuals with stained, dull, or discolored teeth has been effectively restored through whitening procedures. As the outer layer of enamel is worn away due to aging or substances such as coffee, red wine, and tobacco, the  enamel and dentin can pick up surface stains. Food particles contain a certain protein that attracts them to a tooth’s enamel, and substances like coffee, tea, berries, and soy sauce are notorious for causing teeth stains. With time, teeth become more susceptible to staining from various substances.

There are two types of stains – one caused by external factors such as food and the other caused by traumatic injuries, medications, and fluorosis. The former can be tackled through brushing, flossing, and rinsing, while the latter requires specialized treatment. Damaged teeth can often stain dark from the inside of the tooth and require internal bleaching.

To reverse the effects of aging and staining from food, beverage, and tobacco stains, an increasing number of individuals opt for tooth-whitening procedures. Although “whitening toothpaste” can remove stains and brighten teeth to some extent, it may contain abrasive substances that wear away tooth enamel.

Whitening agents can change the color of teeth but are only effective on certain types of stains. For instance, bleaching agents may struggle with removing brownish or grayish stains and may not be as effective on pitted or badly discolored teeth or restorations such as crowns, bridges, bonding, and tooth-colored fillings.

Professional whitening performed by a dentist is often the most effective and safest method, Over-the-counter whitening systems can be somewhat effective if monitored and used according to instructions, but professional whitening with customs trays used at home will allow you to whiten up as needed before important life events like weddings and graduations.

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