Can You Bleach or Whiten Porcelain Veneers?
Dental veneers can be a good investment in your health and good-looks. Not only do they improve the aesthetic quality of your teeth, but they also provide a layer of protection against for your teeth. Over time, your teeth’s natural enamel may weaken and make them susceptible to tooth decay and cavities. This is where veneers come in. They pick up a bit of the slack your weakening enamel might have lost and protect your teeth from disease and infection. Think of them as a fancy suit of armor for your teeth–you want to keep that armor shiny and strong for as long as possible.
Fast forward a year or two after getting your veneers. The initial immaculate sparkle has faded a bit. Maybe they look a little yellow. Your armor’s luster is fading. Why is that? To answer that, you first must look at what your veneers are made from. Veneers are generally made from one of two materials: porcelain or composite resin. Typically, porcelain veneers don’t discolor or stain. This is that porcelain is not as porous as a normal tooth, and therefore more resistant to stains. Composite resin veneers, however, can. While they do not discolor as easily as natural tooth enamel, things like red wine, cigarettes, tea, and coffee can discolor and stain your composite resin veneers.
You paid a lot for those veneers. You like the boost in self-confidence they provide by giving you a great, white and beautiful smile. It’s only natural that you’d want to keep them as white and shiny as humanly possible. If you find your composite resin veneers starting to look like a character from The Simpsons, you may ask yourself: “can I bleach my veneers back to their original shine?”
The answer is it’s complicated. This is because your teeth and your veneers stain at different rates. Since the materials your veneers are made from stain slower than your teeth, uneven coloring occurs. You may think that just bleaching your teeth and veneers simultaneously will “reset” the coloring back to its original sparkle, but that’s not the case. Your teeth and veneers may match for a bit, but uneven coloring will eventually occur. Bleaching nonetheless achieves a short-term goal but is not feasible in the long run.
There are a few “hacks” you can employ to get the even coloring you desire. The first one is DIY bleaching trays. Diligent use of bleaching trays can brighten your teeth but unfortunately, there is simply no guarantee that your teeth with match the hue of your veneers, meaning you’re right back to square one. This process is not typically recommended for veneers patients as it takes a long time and does not guarantee favorable results.
The simplest way to ensure your teeth and veneers match is to bleach your natural teeth and then get your new of veneers that match them from the beginning. While this process sounds straightforward, it doesn’t help the patients who already have veneers that need whitening. Another option is to ask for your cosmetic dentist to whiten your natural teeth and veneers separately using Zoom 2 laser. Be patient with this process as it might require multiple visits to get the perfect matching shade.
Remember to treat your veneers the same as you would your regular teeth. Avoid food and drinks that cause stains, brush and floss your teeth regularly, and keep up with your dentist appointments. If you can’t avoid tea and coffee, one of the biggest culprits of yellowing teeth, try drinking your morning brew over ice and through a straw to prevent it from coming into direct contact with your veneers. Always rinse your mouth after drinking or eating anything dark in color. Overly acidic, crunchy, and sugary foods should be avoided as well. Practicing these simple steps will ensure your veneers will last a long time, protecting your investment, and keeping your actual teeth beautiful and healthy!