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As much as we would like to maintain a bright white smile, sadly, it is not uncommon for tooth discoloration to occur over time. Many patients desire to have a brighter smile. As a result, tooth whitening procedures are becoming more and more popular and highly marketed. Many people are looking for ways to brighten their smile and feel more confident. If your teeth are discolored, tooth whitening may help.

Why do teeth get

discolored or stained?

There are many reasons that your teeth may lose their natural brightness or become discolored or stained over time. These reasons may include:
  • Foods and drinks – coffee, tea, red wine, sodas and certain fruits and vegetables.
  • Tobacco – smoking and chewing tobacco.
  • Poor dental hygiene – inadequate brushing and flossing to remove plaque and stain-producing foods and drinks.
  • Aging – As you age, the outer layer of enamel tends to wear down revealing the natural yellow/brown color of dentin. In addition, the tooth forms more dentin, decreasing the size of the pulp, which reduces the translucency of the tooth and makes it appear even darker.
  • Trauma – Tooth trauma can cause staining from the inside of the tooth. It may affect the tooth pulp severely (necrosis and infection) and even require a root canal and/or crown.
  • Disease – Several diseases that affect tooth formation can lead to discoloration. Also, treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy can affect tooth color.
  • Medications – Some antibiotics, such as tetracycline and doxycycline, are known to discolor teeth if given to children whose teeth are still under development. Mouth rinses containing chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride also can stain teeth. Even commonly used antihistamines (Benadryl), antipsychotic drugs, and antihypertensive medications can discolor teeth.
  • Genetics – Some people have naturally brighter or thicker enamel than others.
  • Environment – Excessive fluoride from the environment (water source) or from excessive use of supplements can cause discoloration of teeth (fluorosis).
  • Dental restorative materials – amalgam (silver) fillings often leach a gray-black color into your teeth.

Can tooth discoloration be prevented?

Many causes of tooth discoloration cannot be controlled, such as aging, genetics, environment, trauma, disease, and medications. However, sometimes it is possible to prevent tooth discoloration by just making a few simple lifestyle changes. For example, cutting back or quitting smoking, coffee, tea, or red wine consumption, which are all common causes of tooth staining. In addition, improving dental hygiene practices, like regular brushing and flossing, and seeing your dental hygienist at least twice a year for dental cleanings (prophylaxis).

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What treatment options are available

for whitening your teeth?

If you desire whiter teeth, you should consult with a dental professional. Treatment options can vary depending on the cause of discoloration and may include:
  • Using over-the-counter whitening agents including whitening toothpastes that can act as gentle surface whiteners.
  • Seeing a dental professional who uses professional whitening products and procedures that are stronger in concentration to remove deeper stains.
  • Having your prosthodontist apply dental veneers (porcelain or composite resin material bonded over the front or visible part of the tooth). This may be the only effective option in cases where tooth whitening procedures are unable to completely remove the discoloration or staining.

How do Whitening Toothpastes work?

Whitening toothpastes remove stains on the surface of your teeth. They are the gentlest of the whitening treatment options. They work by polishing-action rather than by chemical-action and have few side effects. However, they do not get teeth as white when compared to chemical products. Whitening toothpastes can lighten teeth, but a little at a time.

How do Home-Use

Whiteners work?

Home-use whiteners are in stock at Stuart Prosthetic Dentistry. They contain a chemical called peroxide, which gets below the surface to lighten tooth enamel. Home-use whiteners are meant to be used over days or weeks. They come in varying concentrations. Depending on your circumstances, we may only recommend over-the-counter prescription level products (stock trays or strips), while other’s need custom trays and higher concentration whitening gels for better results.

We will make custom whitening trays for your upper and lower teeth. You will be shown how to put the whitening gel in the trays. It is important to keep it off the gums to avoid irritation. You will also be advised on how long and when to wear them. If you wear the trays for too long, the peroxide in the gel may harm your tooth enamel.


Tooth whitening is not a good choice for all people. It is important to consider the following:
If you have gum recession (gums are pulled away from teeth), whitening may irritate these areas.
Active tooth decay (cavities) and periodontal (gum) disease should be treated before whitening.
The color of your restorative dentistry (fillings, crowns, implant restorations) and some heavy stains cannot be changed by tooth whitening.

Are there any side effects for

Tooth Whitening treatment?

Whitening treatment may cause your teeth to be sensitive to very hot or cold temperatures. Whitening may also irritate your gums for a short time. If the side effects do not go away after a few days, contact our office.

Professional dental hygiene visits and regular dental exams will help keep your mouth healthy.
For any further questions about tooth whitening please do not hesitate to ask us.

Teeth Whitening

How Can We Help?

 Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to learn more about how Stuart Prosthetic Dentistry can help you achieve the smile you deserve.


1001 S.E. Ocean Blvd. Ste. 102
Stuart, FL 34996

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Our Mission

To provide EXCELLENT DENTAL CARE enabling each patient to maintain their teeth for a lifetime in maximal health, aesthetics, and function. In harmony with patient’s expectations, focusing on individual dental concerns, dedicated to the HIGHEST STANDARDS of care in the restoration and replacement of teeth.