Teeth play a crucial role in everyone’s lives — they allow you to cut food into chewable bites, make it possible to enunciate certain words, and play a significant role in your physical appearance. Whether you want to look professional, have better luck attracting people to date, or you simply want to like the reflection you see in the mirror, having a bright, even smile will help you accomplish those goals. And, if they’re not toothpaste commercial ready, veneers can help. But as with regular teeth, they require care and upkeep to keep them at their whitest. What can you do to whiten porcelain veneers?
What are veneers?
Veneers are thin layers of porcelain placed over your teeth. Once all of your pearly whites are fully covered, the end result is an even smile. They are an ideal solution for people who wish to have whiter teeth, close gaps, or who want all of their teeth to look uniform. As a bonus, they don’t stain as easily as natural teeth. That said, they do start to stain with regular wear and tear. How to take care of them optimally depends on whether you have composite or porcelain veneers.
Composite veneers are made out of engineered resin that’s made to perfectly match your teeth. They are can all be applied in the same visit, and typically last between four to eight years. While composite veneers are more prone to chipping, they can be easily repaired by your dentist.
Porcelain veneers are made of a thin layer of porcelain. It takes at least two visits to your dentist to apply them, and they typically last between 10 and 15 years. They are less likely to chip than composite veneers — but if they do chip, they cannot be repaired and need to be fully replaced. What makes porcelain veneer a superior option — in addition to their durability — is that since porcelain is translucent, they look more natural.
Can you whiten porcelain veneers?
Generally, porcelain veneers tend to be stain resistant. However, their edges are made out of bonding resin instead of porcelain — so you may notice darker stains along these areas. To keep this from happening, you can do the following:
- Prioritize oral hygiene. Regular brushing and daily flossing will keep plaque from forming along your gumline and darkening the edges of the veneers.
- Limit alcohol intake. Excessive consumption of alcohol may cause the bonding material to deteriorate prematurely.
- Schedule maintenance. In the same way that you should get at least two annual dental cleanings per year, scheduling polishing will keep veneers looking their best.
How to Remove Stains From Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers are dense and do not absorb stains the way natural teeth or composite veneers do. If you notice that your veneers look darker, it’s possible that it’s your natural teeth underneath that’s reflecting through the translucent portion of the veneers. There are certain things you can do to remove those underlying stains in your natural teeth:
- Use non-abrasive whitening toothpaste
- Switch to a soft electric toothbrush to clean more thoroughly
- Schedule a dental cleaning and ask for the veneers to be polished
- Limit staining drinks — such as soda, coffee, tea, or wine
- Avoid smoking
Do not use at-home bleaching kits, gels, or whitening strips, since they will not have any effect on perceived stains on porcelain veneers — but they may damage the porcelain. If your veneers are more than 15 to 20 years old, it may be time to replace them.
If Your Veneers are Stained, Let Us Help You
At North River Dental, we have more than 30 years of experience in cosmetic dentistry. Whether you are considering getting veneers or want to whiten or replace the ones you already have, our skilled doctors will ensure you have the brightest, healthiest smile possible.