Insightful and informative dentist blog, covering a wide range of dental topics alongside new treatment & clinic announcements.
Can you whiten veneers?
One question we’re almost always asked by our patients, can you whiten veneers?
In short, no – normal teeth whitening products won’t work, But there are a number of different ways you can prevent stains and maintain a youthful, brighter smile, with the proper care.
Transform your smile with veneers
Getting veneers fitted is one of the most popular ways of achieving the perfect smile. Veneers are a great way to smooth over chipped or discoloured teeth to give you a nice even smile. But many of our patients are concerned about discoloration after they have veneers fitted, wanting to maintain their smile for years to come.
The answer depends on the type of veneer. There are two types of veneer – composite and porcelain.
Fitting composite veneers, or composite bonding, is a simpler, cheaper and less invasive procedure than fitting porcelain veneers. The composite resin is applied directly to the tooth, creating a new surface layer that masks small cosmetic defects.
Unfortunately, composite veneers will discolour and stain in a similar way to your teeth. This means you need to be careful with foods and drinks that might stain, such as tea, coffee, red wine, curry, berries, and tomato-based sauces.
Can you whiten composite veneers?
The short answer is no. The non-porous nature of the composite material means it reacts differently to whitening agents than your natural tooth enamel. Tooth whitening treatments will not harm your composite veneers, but they won’t have any effect on the colour. So your natural teeth will whiten and the composite material will not, leaving you with patchy discoloration.
Your dentist may be able to improve the look of your composite veneers, but the best thing to do is prevent your teeth from staining in the first place. Cut out staining food and drink, brush your teeth regularly, and book regular check-ups and polishing visits with your dentist to remove surface stains. If you are considering getting composite veneers, it would be a good idea to discuss whitening during your consultation appointment.
Porcelain veneers are thin layers of glazed porcelain that are custom made to fit and bonded to your natural teeth. The good news is they are stain-resistant which means they will not be affected by the foods and drinks that affect your natural teeth. There is therefore no need to whiten porcelain veneers. However, if the porcelain glaze begins to wear off, there may be a slight staining. If this does happen, your dentist will be able to remove the stain or whiten the tooth. In extreme cases, they may need to replace the veneer completely.
How to keep your porcelain veneers white
As with anything to do with teeth, prevention is better than cure. Here are our tips for preventing discoloration or staining of your porcelain veneers:
- Avoid brushing your teeth with baking soda toothpaste as the baking soda will erode the glaze, and avoid acidic food and drink which may break down the porcelain.
- Use a soft bristle toothbrush, which will also protect your natural tooth enamel.
- Maintain good oral hygiene by booking regular dental check-ups – your dentist will remove any plaque that might damage the surface of your veneers as well as your gums.
- Quit smoking – tobacco will stain the natural tooth underneath, which could lead to patchy discoloration on the veneer.