Will Home Whitening Kits Bleach out Fluorosis Stains?

The amount of fluoride you're exposed to when you're a child can affect the formation and appearance of your adult teeth. If you had too much fluoride in your formative years, your teeth may be discoloured or, in extreme cases, pitted and marred by deep brown stains. If you suffer from fluorosis staining, your natural reaction may be to try to make the stains look whiter to make your teeth look better. What are the effects of home whitening on fluorosis stains?

Home Whitening May Not Reach Fluorosis Stains

While home whitening treatments may whiten your teeth enough to give you an improved smile, their effects may not be so brilliant on fluorosis stains. The problem you have here is that fluorosis stains are located inside the tooth rather than on top of it. This makes it a lot harder for the bleaching agents to work on the stains.

You also have to deal with the fact that home whitening kits – and those offered by cosmetic salons – can't legally contain an awful lot of bleach. According to CHOICE Australia, home kits and salon treatments should not contain more than 6% of hydrogen peroxide bleach. This bleach content may not be strong enough to tackle anything but minor surface stains and discolouration.

Home Whitening May Make Fluorosis Stains Look Worse

If you use a home whitening kit on fluorosis stained teeth, you may end up with a worse look than you had originally. You may be able to whiten up the parts of your smile that aren't stained; however, this new whiteness may make the fluorosis stains stand out even more. Your staining may become more prominent if your other teeth become even a little whiter.

Alternatives to Home Whitening Treatments

If you have fluorosis staining, you should talk to your dentist before you attempt to whiten your teeth yourself. Your dentist may be able to recommend professional whitening treatments that give you a deeper bleach. Dentists have more leeway on the bleach content they can use in whitening procedures and are allowed to use treatments that contain up to 38% hydrogen peroxide, according to CHOICE Australia.

If whitening is not the best initial option for you, your dentist can recommend other ways to get rid of your fluorosis stains and whiten your teeth. For example, you may be able to get rid of these stains by having the top layers of your enamel removed in a microabrasion process. Alternatively, your dentist may be able to use bonding, veneers or crowns to cover up the stains completely to fix your smile.