We live in a world where physical appearance is currency. If you look good, you feel good. You have more confidence. You can get better chances of getting hired, cinching a business deal, or going on dates. One way to improve your physical appearance is to get veneers for your teeth. But what, exactly, are they? And are there ways to whiten them?
What Are Veneers?
Veneers are thin layers of porcelain placed over the enamel of each tooth to give you an even, bright smile. They are customized to fit the patient’s teeth and have several cosmetic benefits: whiter teeth, straighter smile, closing gaps, and making all teeth look uniform. They don’t stain as easily as teeth. However, you still have to take care of them for them to keep their pristine appearance.
So what can you do to keep them as white as possible?
Can You Whiten Veneers?
The answer is yes. You can whiten veneers through several options.
7 Ways to Whiten Veneers
1. Use a Soft Bristle Toothbrush
Firmer bristles may damage the porcelain. In addition, they may cause the gum line to slightly recede, exposing the base of the veneers.
2. Brush Your Teeth After Eating Staining Foods
Fortunately, veneers don’t stain as easily as regular teeth, so you won’t have to monitor them as often. However, if you’re one of the millions of Americans who can’t function without daily coffee, brush your teeth after your morning or mid-afternoon cup to keep your veneers from getting stained. Limit soda intake, as well, since they are both acidic and sugary, which will cause more noticeable stains, break down the porcelain, and increase the likelihood of gum disease.
3. Avoid Toothpaste with Baking Soda
While baking soda is a great ingredient to clean natural teeth, it’s abrasive for porcelain veneers, causing them to wear down earlier and become discolored.
4. Use Polishing Toothpaste
There are toothpaste brands that are specifically designed to remove buildup on veneers. While some are available online, your dentist may recommend prescription-strength fluoride to keep your veneers at their whitest. Do keep in mind that polishing toothpaste will only whiten minor stains.
5. Quit Smoking
Do you really need another excuse to kick this habit already? In addition to lung, throat, and colon cancer, a higher risk of stroke, cataracts, rheumatoid arthritis, and heart disease, smoking causes your veneers to become yellow or light brown, which completely defeats the purpose of getting them in the first place.
6. Get Them Professionally Cleaned
The same way plaque builds up in regular teeth due to food particles and decaying sugar, it can also damage the surface of the veneers and make them look dull. Schedule cleanings twice a year to ensure their longevity and that they remain as white as possible.
7. Cosmetic Dentistry
At about the six or seven-year mark, you’ll have to replace your veneers to have them look as bright as when you originally got them. Don’t even try to do it yourself at home with whitening trays, since they won’t work on the resin used to make veneers.
If Your Veneers Are Stained, Let Us Help You
At North River Dental, we have over 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.