can you whiten veneers

Dental Veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are the quick solution for a beautiful smile. They are best for those who got their teeth chipped, fractured or discolored, especially in the anterior region. 

In simple word, a veneer is a mask to cover your natural teeth. With time and due to poor oral hygiene, your veneers get discolored.

However, porcelain veneers don’t stain like natural teeth. Only their edges that contact the tooth surface from below, near the gums, turn yellow or brown.

Anyways, whatever is the severity of discoloration of your veneer, you might want to know if you can bring back the lost shine of the surface or not?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. You cannot get the original color of your veneers back if they are severely discolored. But in some cases, they can be polished.

Let’s discuss more the possibility of dental veneer whitening, causes of discoloration and things you should do to maintain good smile with veneers.

Can I get my original veneer color back?

As we have already said that veneers never stain on its own, but it’s the cement that attaches veneer to tooth surface stains at the margins near the gum line.

So, when your veneer develops a yellowish tinge, you may face a situation that put you in a dilemma to manage the condition.

But did you ever know that veneers don’t respond to bleaching agents like whitening gels, baking soda or other professional agents?

The reason behind this is that the porcelain or ceramic that veneers made up is extremely dense. It means that the porcelain is closely compacted.

That’s why veneer surface acts as a lousy absorbent and particles of bleaching material unable to penetrate. This makes them unaffected by any whitening techniques.

However, if your veneer has very few stains, then it may be possible to get it polished along the edges of veneer by your dentist.

The condition might improve a bit but if it is discolored severely, then replacement of veneer is the only option.

Why my veneers look discolored?

The factors that can affect the color of your dental veneer are –

Gum recession

When your gum line moves down from its normal position, food may get trapped between the gap of tooth and gum, leading to exposure of adhesive material of veneer.

The visible glue part attracts the food particles and bacteria to join its surface near the gum line that subsequently causes a dirty look of your veneer.

Age of veneer

If you are wearing veneers that are too old like ten years or so, then there are chances your dental veneer lose its whiteness.

It is possible that the edges of your veneers chip off and allow food debris and microorganisms to move inside to come in contact with the cemented material of veneers, resulting in stained appearance.

Bonding cement problems

It is necessary for a dental veneer to use cement or a kind of glue that helps veneers bond to your natural tooth surface.

Bonding cement has a property of microleakage. It means, saliva, food particles, and debris, bacteria, etc. can enter the cement surface from tiny spaces within the cement. (1)

Accumulation of these food particles or bacteria makes veneers look discolored from the marginal area.

If you are experiencing this problem, then it is mandated that you go to your dentist and get veneer re-bonded.

How can I have a better smile with veneers?

Your responsibility of maintaining veneer start by the time you get your dental veneers placed inside your oral cavity. Life gets much easier if you make few efforts to sustain your veneers health.

Toothbrush and toothpaste

You should keep in mind that when you are using veneers, your oral hygiene should not be compromised.

For this, regular brushing of teeth plays a vital role in maintaining a perfect smile. Also, it reduces the chance of plaque accumulation that causes discoloration. Brushing twice a day with soft bristles toothbrush is a must. 

The cleansing paste that you use should be non-abrasive. You should always see ingredients on the back side of the cover of the toothpaste.

Non-abrasive toothpaste is needed because abrasives that are present in paste can scratch fine lines on the surface of porcelain veneers and cause its staining.

Floss daily

Dental flossing makes your gums healthy by removing the food debris between the teeth and around the gum line. Floss eventually reduces the chances of getting gums to move down by making them disease free and thus reduces the chances of getting your veneers stained.

Avoid drinks and food that cause stains

Veneers never live longer if you have bad food habits. Some drinks like coffee, black tea, coke and things such as curry, jam, ketchup, etc. might stain your peripheral veneer surface and makes it appears dirty.

So, try to avoid these in your diet. In case you consume any of those food items, always do a good mouth rinse and if possible brush your teeth.

Bleaching your natural teeth

You can’t bleach veneers. But you can for sure manage the look of your teeth through whitening of remaining natural teeth.

Most of the time, the dentist may advise you to go for bleaching of your teeth before wearing veneers because this can match your veneer shades better with the natural teeth surrounding it.

Also, the yellow dentin of natural teeth on which veneer is placed can get bleaching agent applied by the professional dentist so that It looks whiter when the veneer is placed over it.

Replacing your old veneers

By now you must have understood that veneers cannot be whitened. If you have worn veneers for more than a decade or if they are badly stained, then you have an option of replacing them for good.

You can also replace your veneers if they get fractured or damaged accidentally. So, considering these factors, you should visit your dentist if you see any abnormality on the veneer surface and make it restored with the new one.

Regular dental appointments

In general, you should visit your dentist at least once every six months even if everything looks fine. This will allow your dentist to take preventive measure in case some abnormality is seen in your oral cavity.

When you get your dental veneer fitted, you have to meet your dentist for follow-ups. If in case your dentist feels that something is wrong with your veneer then he/she might fix it up timely with minimal damage and maximum success rate.

Wear mouth guard and night guard

When you are playing sports like cricket, wrestling, volleyball, etc. then there is a high chance of damage to your teeth and in turn veneers. You can wear a mouth guard that will reduce the chances of veneer breakage.

Also, it is common for many of you to grind your teeth at night. Sometimes due to this habit, your veneers get fractured or damaged. So, you can wear a night guard while you sleep.

Final words

Dental veneers do not stain like natural teeth. Similarly, they do not respond to bleaching agents as your own teeth do. So, whitening of dental veneers is not possible.

However, polishing of veneer is possible which do not result in whitening. Also, by following good oral hygiene and food habits, you can prevent this condition altogether.