General DentistryHow to Remove Stains from Teeth

Before we can talk about stain removal, we have to know about how many different kinds of stains exists, what is the cause of different kinds of stain and what is the way to get rid of it

Types of stains

  • Extrinsic stain, which is basically on the tooth surfaces.
  • Intrinsic stain, which is stain that presented in the inner portion of teeth (dentine).

Cause of stains

    • Cause of extrinsic stains, usually superficial stain come from food or beverage, like curry, tea, coffee and tobacco.
    • Cause of intrinsic stain, can be more complicated that may include the following:
      • Medication used (e.g. tetracycline) during teeth formation stage
      • Trauma to teeth
      • Dental fillings
      • Tooth decay


Depending on the natures of stain, if it is:

  • Extrinsic stain, hygiene appointment of scaling & polishing will be very effective on removing all the extrinsic stain.
  • Seek corresponding dental treatment if it is related to trauma or restoration needs.
  • Teeth whitening if stain is associated with the inner part of teeth, normal whitening procedure will include consultation with a dental surgeon, following by making a personalized tray by taking impression or digital scanning, then with hydrogen peroxide whitening gel.

Judging the type of stain and the relevant treatment need to be performed by dental professional, it is therefore necessary to seek professional advice first.

Preventing Staining

A crucial way to prevent staining is to try and practice good oral health at all times. This involves brushing your teeth ideally 2 times a day and flossing daily. This should help deal with surface stains, as well as difficult to remove stains in between teeth. If possible, you should also try to quit smoking or tobacco use, as it can greatly reduce the potential for stains. Additionally, try to minimize your consumption of strongly coloured foods/drinks as they can be problematic if consumed regularly. As a minimum you should at least rinse your mouth afterwards, as the longer the particles remain on teeth, the more significant the damage.