If your teeth are discolored and stained, then you want to take the appropriate steps to having them whitened. You have a lot of options available to you, but some of those options will depend on whether or not your teeth are stained from outside sources like the foods you eat, or from thin enamel that's allowing the darker and centermost part of your teeth to show through. Learn about some of the different whitening options available in this article.

Over-the-counter treatments

You can purchase teeth whitening treatments at most grocery stores and pharmacies that you can do at home. These treatments consist of whiteners you put in trays and put on your teeth or as strips you wear on your teeth. When you use these whiteners, it is hard to know exactly how white your teeth will get and you can end up with white calcium spots on your teeth. This method can also require a lot of treatments before you see a noticeable difference.

Professional teeth whitening

You can go directly to your dentist to have your teeth whitened. Depending on the condition of your teeth and the services they offer, the dentist may suggest bleaching or a laser treatment. Since the dentist will be in charge of determining the proper course of treatment, you can count on getting better results in a shorter amount of time than with a store bought method.

Removable veneers

If you have thinner than normal tooth enamel, then it may be the natural color of your inner teeth giving your teeth their discolored appearance. If this is the case, then you can get removable veneers you can wear when you want to show off a whiter smile. The veneers are made to fit over your teeth and you will need to remove them to care for them when you eat and to sleep. For this reason, they are great if you are willing to go with a temporary solution or are on a budget, but not right for a permanent answer.

Permanent veneers

You can also have permanent veneers put on the teeth that are in your smile line to achieve a whiter smile. Your teeth will need to be filed down in size with the use of a grinding tool to make extra room for the veneers to fit over them. The veneers look and feel real and they can stain just like normal teeth, so you need to take care of them. Contact a dentist, like McMillin Jeff DDS, for more help.