You Don't Have To Hide Your Smile: Treatment Options To Remove Tetracycline Stains From Your Teeth

Posted on: 10 May 2016

If your teeth have been stained by repeated exposure to tetracycline – or tetracycline-based antibiotics – you'll need the assistance of a cosmetic dentist to get rid of the discoloration. Tetracycline can build up inside the teeth and cause permanent staining. Unfortunately, over-the-counter whitening products will not work to remove tetracycline stains from your teeth. Luckily, your cosmetic dentist will have several treatment options available, depending on the severity of the stains. Here are two of the options your dentist can use to restore the color of your teeth.

Whitening Treatments

Professional whitening treatments are the best way to begin the process of removing tetracycline stains. When choosing whitening treatments, it's important to note that there are two whitening options that are available.

Surface Bleaching

With surface bleaching, your dentist will fill a plastic mouth tray with bleaching gel and place the tray on your teeth. You'll be required to undergo several sessions to remove the stains. This type of treatment should remove most surface stains caused by tetracycline.


Laser whitening can be used alone or in conjunction with surface bleaching. With this process, a small laser – with high-intensity light – is aimed directly at your teeth. Each session is performed in the dentist's office. For severe discoloration, your dentist may apply a layer of bleaching agent to the surface of your teeth prior to the laser treatment.


If your tetracycline stains are too deep to be repaired through whitening treatments, you may need to have your teeth repaired using veneers. Porcelain veneers are thin sheets of porcelain that are attached directly to the surface of your teeth. Your cosmetic dentist will design them to conform to the size and shape of your natural teeth. Once the veneers are in place, your stains will no longer be visible. It's important to note that porcelain can chip, so you'll need to exercise care with your new veneers. Some of the things you'll need to avoid once you have your new veneers include:

  • Nail biting
  • Chewing on hard candy or ice
  • Biting down on pencils or pens

If tetracycline stains have you hiding your teeth, you don't have to do that anymore. Treatment options are available that will remove the stains and restore the beauty of your teeth. For more information about the options that are available to you, be sure to sit down with a cosmetic dentist. They'll help you choose the option that is best for you. Visit for more info.