How do you whiten internal teeth staining?

Internal stains are normally treated using oxygen-releasing chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide or chlorites. These chemicals can penetrate deep into the tooth to create a bleaching effect. There are a few different ways in which these chemicals can be used for teeth whitening:

• Paint on: The treatment is a liquid that you paint on to your teeth and can be done as an at-home treatment.

• Adhesives: These are sticky strips that you stick on to your teeth, one tooth at a time and left in place overnight.

• Nightguard bleaching: This treatment uses a special gel that you put into a mouthguard style tray which you put in your mouth and wear for several hours.

• Power bleaching: A professional treatment done in your dentist’s clinic. A gel is applied to your teeth and then activated using high intensity lights, lasers or ozone.

When staining is deep within the structure of the tooth, there are a few of ways to improve the colour of your teeth. In some cases, replacing old fillings can improve the look of your front teeth, in particular. However, when teeth are heavily stained, veneers or crowns can be a better treatment solution, as they can be colour selected and also remedy any other faults you’d like to improve the look of and still have a natural looking smile.

When should parents consider whether or not sucking a pacifier or thumb could be harmful to teeth?

Sucking is a natural reflex and infants and young children may use thumbs, fingers, pacifiers and other objects on which to suck. It may make them feel secure and happy, or provide a sense of security at difficult periods. Since thumb sucking is relaxing, it may induce sleep. Thumb sucking that persists beyond the eruption of the permanent teeth can cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth and tooth alignment. How intensely a child sucks on fingers or thumbs will determine whether or not dental problems may result. Children should cease thumb sucking by the time their permanent front teeth are ready to erupt. Usually, children stop between the ages of two and four. Peer pressure causes many school-aged children to stop. Pacifiers are no substitute for thumb sucking. They can affect the teeth essentially the same way as sucking fingers and thumbs. However, use of the pacifier can be controlled and modified more easily than the thumb or finger habit.