Does Iron Stain Teeth Permanently?

Written by Dr. Brian Harris

January 31, 2024

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on a pressing question: Does iron stain teeth permanently? The short answer is, no, iron stains on teeth aren't usually permanent.

Iron, especially from supplements, can cause temporary discolorations on your teeth due to chemical reactions. However, these stains are often superficial and can be treated with the right dental care.

In this article, we'll explore the reasons behind iron-induced teeth stains, preventive measures, and effective removal techniques.

We'll also delve into the types of iron less likely to stain and how at-home teeth whitening solutions, like those from SNOW, can help restore your smile's brilliance.

What this article covers:

Do Iron Supplements Stain Your Teeth?

Iron supplements are a common necessity, especially for those addressing iron deficiencies, but they come with a question: Do they stain your teeth?

iron stains on teeth

The Science Behind Iron Supplements And Tooth Discoloration

Iron's propensity to stain teeth is well-documented. When iron, particularly in liquid form, contacts tooth enamel, it can leave noticeable stains. This staining process occurs due to a reaction between the iron and the enamel.

According to Mayo Clinic, liquid iron supplements are more likely to cause stains due to their easier spread over the teeth's surface. While iron supplements are known for this effect, it's interesting to note that any mouthwash that stains teeth can also contribute to discoloration.

To mitigate this, Mayo Clinic recommends mixing liquid supplements with water or fruit juice and using a straw to minimize direct contact with the teeth. For those who use iron in capsule or tablet form, direct contact with teeth is less of a concern, though chewing them can still pose a risk of staining.

If stains do occur, there's a simple solution. As MedlinePlus states, brushing your teeth with baking soda or medicinal peroxide can help remove iron stains, but our specially formulated products are designed specifically to tackle extrinsic stains.

Although iron supplements can stain teeth, especially in liquid form, understanding the causes and prevention methods is key to maintaining both your health and Hollywood grin.

How to Remove Iron Supplement Stains From Teeth

Iron supplements are crucial for many, but they often leave behind unsightly stains on teeth. At SNOW, we understand the importance of a bright smile, so we've explored various methods to tackle these stains. Here are some steps you can take:

Using Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a popular ingredient in many teeth-whitening products, including some of our own at SNOW. It's effective due to its ability to remove stains. Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide with water, swish this solution around in your mouth for about 30 seconds, then spit and rinse.

This method can be used once or twice a week to help remove iron stains. In comparison to iron stains, doxycycline teeth stain can also be challenging to remove, requiring specific dental treatments.

For those looking for a more comprehensive solution, SNOW's Teeth Whitening Kit and Teeth Whitening Strips are excellent options as they are designed to tackle tough stains gently yet thoroughly.

liquid iron stain teeth

Brushing With Baking Soda

Baking soda, a natural teeth whitening agent, can be used to remove iron supplement stains. Create a paste by mixing baking soda with water and brush your teeth with it for a few minutes.

This method is gentle on enamel while being methodical in stain removal. Complement this routine with our Teeth Whitening Toothpaste for added whitening and oral health benefits.

Oil Pulling With Coconut Oil

Oil pulling with coconut oil is an age-old method known for removing toxins and impurities from the mouth, and it can also help in lifting iron stains from teeth. Swish a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes before spitting it out.

Our Arctic Frost Teeth Whitening Mouthwash can be a great addition to your routine, offering a refreshing and whitening boost.

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is another natural teeth whitener. Apply it by wetting a toothbrush, dipping it into activated charcoal powder, and brushing for a few minutes. This method can help lift stains from your teeth.

For a less messy alternative, consider using SNOW's Teeth Whitening Foam, which is easy to use and works magnificently.

Prevention Tips

Prevention is key. Use a straw when consuming liquid iron supplements, rinse your mouth afterward, and maintain regular oral hygiene by brushing and flossing.

Incorporating SNOW's teeth whitening products into your daily routine can also help prevent and treat iron supplement stains.

does liquid iron stain teeth

What Causes Iron Supplement Stains?

Iron supplements, essential for treating deficiencies, can lead to the unintended consequence of teeth staining. This effect is largely due to the interaction of iron with the saliva in your mouth.

Teeth-Staining Due To Iron Supplements

When you consume iron supplements, particularly those containing ferrous sulfate, a reaction can occur in your mouth.

This reaction leads to the formation of compounds like iron sulfide and iron oxide, which adhere to tooth enamel, creating yellow or brown stains.

The stains are more prominent when the iron supplement is in a liquid form and held in the mouth for extended periods. Much like the way stannous fluoride stains teeth, iron binds to dental enamel, leading to discoloration.

Liquid Iron Staining Teeth

Liquid iron supplements are particularly prone to causing stains on teeth. The reason lies in their direct contact with the tooth surface. This form of iron can bind to tiny porosities, fissures, or pits in the dental elements, leading to noticeable staining.

The dark reddish-brown color of liquid iron supplements, coupled with their contact with teeth during consumption, can result in significant discoloration. This is more common in children, where the use of liquid iron supplements to prevent iron deficiency is frequent.

Although these stains can be challenging to remove, at SNOW, we have conducted extensive research to find the best solutions to help you maintain a stain-free smile. Our range of products, like whitening strips and sensitive teeth whitening serums, are designed to combat these stains.

We've developed products that not only whiten teeth but also protect them from the staining effects of iron supplements.

does iron stain teeth

Does the Type of Iron You Take Affect Dental Staining, and What Can You Do About It?

The type of iron supplement you choose can indeed impact the likelihood of dental staining. Traditional oral iron supplements, especially those containing ferrous sulfate, have a higher tendency to cause teeth discoloration.

This staining is primarily due to iron's metallic nature, which can bind to teeth upon contact, leading to dark brown or black discoloration.

Liquid Iron And Teeth Staining

Liquid iron supplements are particularly notable for causing dental stains. When consumed, these supplements mix with saliva and can adhere to the pits and fissures of your teeth, creating tough-to-remove stains.

This is a common issue, especially in liquid iron forms used for children, as they are more likely to come in direct contact with the teeth. Interestingly, products like savacol stain teeth differently, suggesting that the composition of dental care products plays a significant role in oral aesthetics.

However, some modern formulations of liquid iron supplements, like Nano Iron, are designed to minimize or prevent teeth staining by reducing direct contact with the teeth.

Iron Supplements In Tablet Form

Even iron supplements in tablet form can lead to staining if they are chewed or left in the mouth long enough for their coating to dissolve.

This is less common than with liquid supplements but is still a consideration, especially for individuals who may have difficulty swallowing pills and might chew them instead.

Solutions And Preventative Measures

  1. Choosing the right supplement: Opting for iron supplements that are specifically formulated to reduce staining can help. For example, certain newer supplements use advanced delivery systems that release iron in the small intestine, far from the teeth, thereby minimizing the risk of staining.
  2. Oral hygiene: Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial. Brushing teeth regularly and adequately, especially after taking iron supplements, can help prevent and reduce the risk of staining.
  3. Supplement form: If possible, choose capsule or coated tablet forms of iron supplements over liquid forms, and avoid chewing the tablets.

At SNOW, our range of teeth whitening products is designed to combat such stains and maintain dental health.

While choosing your iron supplements wisely, incorporating products like our whitening toothpaste, strips, or mouthwash can be an excellent way to counteract any potential staining from supplements.

iron stain teeth


Throughout this article, we have thoroughly addressed the concern: Does iron stain teeth permanently? We explored the nature of tooth discoloration caused by iron supplements, including both the science behind it and how different forms of iron, such as liquid iron, can affect your teeth.

We also discussed various methods to remove these stains and prevent them from occurring in the future. It's important to remember that while iron can cause temporary staining, these aren't usually permanent and can be managed with proper oral care and the right teeth whitening products.

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