Porcelain veneers are shells of porcelain customized to fit the fronts of your teeth, conceal imperfections, and give you a beautiful smile. A veneer is a dental ceramic containing a mixture of glass, minerals, and silica. Did you know that veneers are stronger than tooth enamel? But can porcelain veneers stain? We will explain what to expect with porcelain veneers and how to keep your smile bright.
Can Porcelain Veneers Stain?
Porcelain veneers are stain resistant. They resist stain better than tooth enamel because dental ceramics are non-porous. Moreover, porcelain veneers can conceal embedded stains in your natural teeth that bleaching gels cannot improve. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry confirms that porcelain veneers can resist coffee, tea, and cigarette smoking stains.
Still, can anything damage your veneers? And how can you protect them?
What Kind of Damage Can Stain Porcelain Veneers?
A protective glaze covers a porcelain veneer. But scratches or cracks in the glaze can damage the surface and attract stains. How can you avoid damaging your porcelain veneers and causing them to stain?
How Can You Protect Your Porcelain Veneers?
You can protect your porcelain veneers in the same ways you can preserve your natural teeth. Consider six ways to protect them:
- Use non-abrasive toothpaste – Abrasive toothpaste can create tiny scratches on porcelain veneers and wear away the glaze. Supersmile® is a porcelain veneers friendly toothpaste brand.
- Use a soft-bristle toothbrush – Hard bristles abrade the protective polish on porcelain veneers.
- Wear a nighttime mouth guard if you clench or grind your teeth – The pressure of teeth grinding can crack the glaze and your veneers.
- Limit your intake of staining foods and drinks – Although veneers resist coffee, tea, and berry stains, your smile will not be as brilliant if you consume them in excess. You can minimize the effects of staining food and drinks by rinsing your mouth with water after finishing them.
- Regular, professional maintenance – Allow a skilled cosmetic dentist to monitor your veneers and keep your gums and teeth free of disease. A trained cosmetic dentist and hygienist will avoid using dental equipment or chemicals that might scratch your veneers.
- Limit eating hard or crunchy foods – Excessively eating hard or crunchy foods can scrape your veneers.
What Can You Do If Your Porcelain Veneers Get Stained?
If you get surface stains on your veneers, an advanced cosmetic dentist can polish them away and restore the veneers’ gloss. Avoid buying do-it-yourself polishing pastes or kits, which can increase the damage to your veneers.
How Long Will Your Veneers Last?
If you take good care of them, your porcelain veneers can last ten to twenty years. The article, The Success of Dental Veneers According to Preparation Design and Material Type, reveals that high-quality veneers can last for decades. Results of one clinical trial show that high-quality veneers’ survival rate is 96% after ten years and 91% after 20 years.
Intact porcelain veneers do not stain. But you must take good care of them to prevent damage that can crack or wear away the glaze and cause stains. Also, regular maintenance from a cosmetic dentist will protect your smile and help it last for many years.
Mohamed Imam, DDS of My Smile Artist in San Antonio, Texas, sponsors this post.