Smoking is highly damaging to oral health since it dries out your mouth and increases your likelihood of developing cavities and gum disease. It affects the appearance of your teeth as well since the brown tar and yellow nicotine residue in cigarette smoke will become stuck to the surface of your teeth. These stains are often very difficult to remove with a toothbrush. Thankfully, teeth whitening kits will still work. If you're a smoker and are wondering how to remove tobacco stains from your teeth, read on to learn more about teeth whitening kits and how to best use them to remove smoking stains.

Can Smokers Benefit From Teeth Whitening Kits?

The tar and nicotine stains from smoking are located on the surface of the tooth, which means that they're removable with teeth whitening products. Teeth whitening kits contain either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which is a chemical that turns into hydrogen peroxide when exposed to water.

Hydrogen peroxide is a very strong oxidizing and bleaching agent — it breaks down stains on the surface of the tooth, causing them to become lighter. This includes the tar and nicotine stains caused by smoking, so smokers are able to whiten their teeth using teeth whitening products.

What Kind of Teeth Whitening Kit Should Smokers Use?

You'll need to use a kit that exposes as much of your teeth as possible to the hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide solution. Smoke goes throughout your entire mouth when you're smoking a cigarette, including between your teeth and near your gum line. As a result, the staining from smoking can be in places that are hard to reach.

Kits containing boil-and-bite mouth trays are usually the best option. You place the mouthguard in boiling water to soften it, wait for it to cool down, and then bite into it to create a mold of your teeth. You fill the gaps in the tray with the whitening solution, and then you wear it in your mouth to whiten your teeth. Boil-and-bite mouth trays fit against your teeth snugly, which helps the whitening solution get into areas that are hard to reach, like between your teeth and near your tooth roots.

You can also schedule an appointment with your dentist and have a custom mouth tray created for you. The dentist will take precise measurements of your teeth and create a mouth tray that fits them perfectly — it's an even better fit than a boil-and-bite mouth tray.

You can also have whitening performed at your dentist's office, and this often gives quicker results. Dentists have access to the whitening solution with a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide than you're able to easily find over the counter, so the whitening process goes faster. However, at-home teeth whitening kits are still a very effective option. You'll just need to wait longer to see results.

If you're a smoker and are concerned about the appearance of your teeth due to tobacco stains, teeth whitening kits can help. They're able to remove the tar and nicotine staining on the surface of your teeth, making them noticeably whiter. Keep in mind that your teeth will become stained again if you continue to smoke after whitening them — you'll likely have to repeat the whitening process frequently to keep them from looking stained.