If you're considering getting porcelain veneers or have started to notice some discoloration on your current veneers, you might be curious to know whether porcelain veneers stain. The good news is that true porcelain veneers are unlikely to stain, but other kinds of veneers can. To get the best wear out of your porcelain veneers, it's essential to know how to care for your veneers as well as your natural teeth.
Types of Dental Veneers That Stain
Just like tooth enamel, cheap composite veneers absorb stains from drinking colored beverages like coffee, tea, red wine, and sodas, and also from smoking tobacco. Over time, these veneers can become discolored and need to be brightened or replaced.
In contrast to natural teeth, composite veneers cannot be whitened with whitening toothpaste. You will need the help of a cosmetic dentist to whiten polymer resin veneers or replace them with stain-resistant porcelain veneers.
Porcelain Veneers Don’t Stain
In contrast to composite materials, dental porcelain is stain-resistant because it isn't porous like resin or enamel. Thanks to the special process used to make porcelain veneers, they can stay shiny and bright for years—covering discolored teeth for a red-carpet smile and boosting your confidence instantly.
If you notice any discoloration in a porcelain veneer (or porcelain inlay or onlay), it’s usually related to significant trauma or tooth decay affecting the tooth underneath the veneer or a buildup of yellow-tinted plaque on the veneer.
Baking Soda Can Damage Veneers
There are, however, substances that can damage your veneers. Baking soda, a common ingredient used for at-home teeth whitening, can scratch the surface of your veneers, creating ridges for surface stains to form.
If you want to whiten your natural teeth, it's best to ask your cosmetic dentist about laser teeth whitening rather than try to solve the problem yourself. You can clean your porcelain veneers simply and easily with a specially formulated veneer-friendly toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush. Refer to our guide on how to whiten veneers.
Dental Hygiene Makes a Difference
Even though porcelain veneers don't stain, it's still essential to maintain a rigorous dental hygiene routine. Brushing twice daily with a soft-bristle toothbrush and flossing daily will help to prevent cavities in your natural teeth and prevent gum disease.
After drinking coffee, red wine, or tea, you should brush your teeth or at least rinse your mouth out with water. This will help to prevent stains in your tooth enamel and in any polymer resin fillings or composite veneers.
Treating Discolored Areas around Veneers
If, over time, gum recession leaves the edges of a natural tooth exposed, it’s possible that you may start to see cavities form and notice a discoloration of your natural tooth enamel. If you see brown lines around the top (or bottom) of your porcelain veneers, it's important to see your cosmetic dentist right away and have the gum recession and cavities treated.
In some cases, you may need replacement porcelain veneers to cover your elongated teeth and protect the natural tooth from stains and decay. This process is similar to having porcelain veneers placed for the first time and is generally completed in two short visits.
Preventing Gum Recession
Gum recession can sometimes occur due to overly vigorous brushing or using a very hard-bristled brush. Cosmetic dentists recommend using the softest bristle brush that still removes the plaque from your teeth to avoid wearing away the gums, combined with professional cleanings twice a year.
If you're not sure whether your brush and/or brushing technique are effective, take your toothbrush along to your dental checkup for feedback and personalized advice on your brushing technique.
Caring for Your Porcelain Veneers
With the proper care, you can keep your veneers, teeth, and gums stain-free and enjoy a beautiful smile without having to worry about discoloration ruining your appearance.
After your porcelain veneers are placed, avoid crunchy foods and actions that would put a strain on the veneers, like opening a packet with your teeth. Be aware of what foods you can eat with veneers. If you play contact sports or grind your teeth, wear a mouthguard to prevent chips and cracks in your veneers.
When to See Your Cosmetic Dentist
If you have any doubts about the health of your porcelain veneers or your natural teeth, it's important to contact your cosmetic dentist as soon as you can. If there is a cavity, tooth damage, gum recession, or gum disease, it's much easier to address the problem in the early stages rather than waiting for the problem to become worse.
Porcelain veneers, in general, shouldn't stain. That's why they are such a popular option for Beverly Hills smile makeovers. However, if you have any doubts about tooth discoloration, porcelain veneers, or any other cosmetic dentistry concern, it's best to get in touch with your cosmetic dentist for an in-person evaluation and personalized advice.