Do Home Whitening Kits Work If You Have Fluorosis Stains?

If you were exposed to too much fluoride when you were young while your teeth were developing, you may be left with fluorosis stains. These stains may be white, yellow or brown and, if they appear on your front teeth, they may make you very self-conscious about your smile. In an effort to even out the colour of your teeth, you may be considering using a home bleaching treatment. How might a home treatment work on your fluorosis stains, and what are the alternatives?

How Home Whitening Affects Fluorosis Staining

Fluorosis stains don't prevent whitening kits from working; however, these stains may affect the results you get from a home whitening kit. Bleaching kits are designed to work on all areas of the teeth to which you apply them in much the same way; they can't focus on specific areas of a tooth. Plus, to some extent, the results you get may depend on the colour and severity of the stains you have.

For example, if you have white surface stains, a home bleaching kit may well whiten your teeth around the fluorosis stains; however, the bleaching may also make your fluorosis stains appear whiter as well. This may make your stains stand out as much or even more than they did originally.

If you have a lot of internal yellow or brown stains, the bleaching may not affect the stains much but may make the rest of your teeth look whiter. The end result here, once again, could be stains that look more obvious rather than whitened out.

Whitening Alternatives for Fluorosis Stains

If you have fluorosis stains that you want to make whiter and you're worried about the effects you'll get if you bleach your teeth yourself, then your best option is to talk to your dentist before you try a treatment. Your dentist will be able to talk to you about how your fluorosis stains might look after a whitening treatment.

In some cases, your dentist may agree that a home whitening kit might help improve the appearance of your teeth and may be able to recommend the most suitable kit. If, after talking to your dentist, you feel that home whitening won't give you the effect you want or that it may even make things worse, your dentist may be able to offer you alternative treatments to sort out your problems. For example, your dentist might recommend using microabrasion to smooth off the stains or treatment such as bonding or veneers to cover them over. Alternatively, you may find that a professional whitening treatment may help.