Can you whiten veneers? What to know about a brighter smile

can you whiten veneers

A smile is great for making positive first impressions. Therefore it’s critical to maintain its health and beauty. One method to brighten your smile and boost your confidence is using veneers. However, the colour of your veneers may change over time. And you might start pondering: can you whiten veneers? If so, does teeth whitening damage veneers? If you want to know the answer to all these questions, read on.

What leads to the discolouration of veneers?

You will likely be quite thrilled to have a beautiful white smile after getting veneers. But as time passes, you might start to notice changes in the dental veneer color, which can vary depending on the type of veneers.

There are 2 main types of veneers: those made of composite resin and others made from porcelain. While porcelain veneers don’t often become stained or discoloured due to the material they are made of, composite resin veneers do. Some of the reasons for the staining could be exposure to drinks like tea, red wine, and coffee. 

However, it is also possible that different areas of your tooth become stained, like the sides, above or below, where the dental veneers are attached. A few reasons for this could be less porcelain glazing (which is what makes the veneers shine), receding gums (when a section of the tooth gets exposed), and tooth trauma (when the natural tooth underneath gets stained due to damage to your mouth).

Can you whiten your veneers?

Now that you know how veneers can get discoloured, you might wonder: can you use teeth whitening on veneers? Since composite veneers are more likely to get stained, let’s look at how to whiten composite veneers. 

Can you whiten composite veneers? Whitening composite veneers is not recommended because the material they are made of does not respond well to whitening. Therefore, it is best not to use the at-home whitening treatment. 

However, this does not mean you cannot improve how they look. Surface stains on ceramic veneers can be removed with the aid of professional dental cleanings. If you still want to use at-home cleaning techniques, ask your dentist for advice and a customized plan for professional dental cleanings that is tailored to your unique requirements. Your dentist could suggest replacing your veneers if the stain is too severe.

In other words, bleaching products can work well on natural teeth but not on veneers. Therefore, using them might whiten your natural teeth while your dental veneers look the same. And if you do not have many veneers, your smile might look mismatched.

Moreover, at worst, DIY whitening techniques risk damaging your veneers or harming your oral health. For instance, if you’re looking for veneer-whitening toothpaste, choose one that is not abrasive.

Otherwise, using a product like that may result in scratches. Besides that, your gums may become irritated by whitening strips or bleaching trays, which could also make your teeth more sensitive. It’s important to consider the cost of porcelain veneers in Melbourne when weighing the potential risks of DIY whitening methods.

How to brighten veneers? 

You know how to improve your composite veneers, but can you whiten porcelain veneers? The short answer is: you can, but usually only through professional cleanings or getting a replacement. On that note, if the discolouration is caused by micro-leakage, your dentist might be able to remove your veneers, clean them, and reconnect them with a new adhesive.

Here are a few tips on how to whiten stained veneers. 

Try a tooth-whitening system

Does teeth whitening work on veneers? When considering whitening veneers, your initial inclination could be to attempt a tooth-whitening solution. However, be careful, as standard whitening methods are unsuitable for porcelain veneers.

If you have porcelain veneers, you might have noticed that their semi-translucent design allows light to partially go through. Therefore, it is likely that the darkening you see might be caused by the colour of your natural teeth covered up by the veneers. In such cases, you can use a bleaching system on the back of those teeth to reduce the staining. This may result in the natural tooth becoming whiter, which then reflects through the porcelain veneer’s semi-translucent surface. If you’re considering getting porcelain veneers, it’s important to be aware of the veneers cost in Sydney.

Still, consult your dentist before using any tooth-whitening system so you don’t accidentally damage your dental veneers.

Visit your dentist for professional cleaning

Veneers are an emotional and monetary investment in your smile’s improvement. Therefore, it is important to be careful with them, especially if you are unsure of what you are doing. That is why it is often better to first schedule an appointment with your dentist so you can find the best way to make them their original colour.

In most cases, staining and discolouration are caused by the deterioration of the porcelain glaze. To take care of any problems, your dentist will give them a thorough cleaning and restore the lustre they previously had.

Still, if the stain is too strong or in case of receding gum lines, you may need to replace the veneers. As such, make sure to take care of any problems as soon as you notice them.

At-home cleaning tips

You might wonder how long veneers last when taken good care of. For porcelain veneers, it’s about 10-15 years, while for composite resin veneers, it is usually around 5-10 years. 

So then, how to whiten veneers at home? Caring for your veneers is quite similar to caring for natural teeth, like brushing your teeth after each meal and avoiding staining foods/drinks. If you notice staining around the edges, use a gentle polishing toothpaste to get rid of the stains. 

However, be mindful that you do not use abrasive toothpaste that has bleach in it, as that might damage the veneers. Also, you may have heard about whitening veneers with baking soda, but it can also make the staining worse if used on veneers, meaning it’s better to avoid it.

How to prevent tooth discolouration?  

As you may have noticed, consistent care can significantly improve oral hygiene. 

Try to avoid foods and beverages that are highly coloured because they are likely to cause stains. This includes foods like curry, pasta sauce, berries, and balsamic vinegar, as well as beverages such as coffee and tea.

Still, if you cannot let go of your favourite snacks and drinks, remember to brush your teeth afterwards, or at least rinse with water so as to prevent stains.

Final thoughts

We all want to do all we can to improve the appearance of our smiles, and veneers can be a tool to bring back our confidence. Because of this, looking after them is critical, especially if you want them to last for a long time. So then, can you whiten veneers? Traditional whitening methods, like using abrasive toothpaste, may not work as well as you hoped. Instead, consult your dentist, use a tooth-whitening system, or brush your teeth using the method mentioned above.

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