Tetracycline Stains and How to Whiten Them

Tetracycline Stains and How to Whiten Them

While stains caused by drinking coffee or tea are common, Tetracycline stains are some of the most severe. The antibiotic stained teeth from the inside out, making them expensive to whiten. Now, new whitening technology lets you safely whiten your Tetracycline stains at home. 

What are Tetracycline stains? 

“Tetracycline is an antibiotic that was given for a long period of time. Mothers would take Tetracycline when their babies were in utero, and then the children’s teeth would have dark stains on them,” Dr. Caroline Girard, DDS, founder and CEO of Beverly Hills Whitening says. 

Tetracycline is still used to treat a variety of infections and combat acne, according to the Mayo Clinic. Now, it is not recommended to children under 8 due to staining teeth. Tetracycline stains appear yellow when you’re young, but as you get older, your teeth appear brown. These antibiotic-derived stains are characterized by banding, which makes them notoriously hard to remove. 

“It is almost like each tooth has different, layered lines where bits of antibiotics went into the tooth and altered the structure,” Dr. Girard says. “If the mother takes it is going to be present in her child’s teeth. These stains are built-in because they’re from the metal in the antibiotics.”

How do I whiten my Tetracycline stains?

Before, teeth stained by tetracycline had to be ground down and covered by veneers to achieve a whiter smile. Now, Beverly Hills Whitening can help you whiten your tetracycline stains at home with state-of-the-art gel technology. 

“The gel is enhanced by the custom-fitted trays, which you wear every night. The gel is active longer, so it can get deeper into the tooth. Whitening is so time-dependent. Gel has to contact teeth to be active for a longer period of time,” Dr. Girard says. 

How long should you use Beverly Hills Whitening trays before you see results? For Tetracycline stains, Girard advises extended whitening for 8-10 weeks for stable results, though it is case-dependent. The age you were when you or your mother took Tetracycline will come into play, as will the depth of your stains. 

Before, the only way to combat Tetracycline stains was to whittle down and cover stained teeth — not treat them. 

“Before with Tetracycline stains, the only way to treat it was by covering it with crowns and veneers. You had to cut teeth into tiny points and use an opaque material to cover them. It’s difficult, but not impossible, to whiten them now. It’s completely reversible. If you’re putting a veneer on the tooth, it has to be replaced every few years, forever. Whitening with Beverly Hills Whitening is conservative treatment with good results,” Dr. Girard says. 

Whitening at home is a non-invasive and less expensive way of lightening teeth stained by antibiotics.

“With Beverly Hills Whitening, you whiten teeth for a couple of hundred dollars. Placing crowns on them all can be $50,000-$100,000,” Dr. Girard says. There’s nothing wrong with the teeth from a health point of view, so it would be tragic to cut it.”

Whitening results do have to be touched up more frequently for those with Tetracycline stains, Dr. Girard says. For continual maintenance, she advises wearing your trays twice a month after your treatment.


Written by: Ashley Hinson


Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/tetracycline-class-oral-route-parenteral-route/before-using/drg-20069585