Porcelain veneers are probably the most powerful procedure in cosmetic dentistry. They have the ability to transform your smile virtually overnight, replacing short teeth, crooked teeth, and discolored teeth with straight, white, attractive ones.
And they have another benefit, they are very stain resistant. With proper care, they can maintain their color for their entire lifetime, generally 10 years or more.
Our teeth are, by design, porous. This allows staining material to penetrate your tooth material. Unlike your natural teeth, porcelain veneers have a sealed surface that prevents staining material from penetrating. They barely even get wet, as they can repel liquid, which can make them easier to keep clean. No abrasives are necessary and should be avoided.
Some compounds will stick to veneers, though. Cigarette smoke is a very bad one since it contains tar. Once stains begin to accumulate, too, the process accelerates.
This isn’t staining, though, because the discoloration just sits on the surface and can be easily cleaned off during your regular dental visit.
There is some staining to worry about, though. The teeth behind the veneers can still become stained, and even the cement that binds the veneer to the tooth can become discolored.
The most important thing to keep your veneers stain-free is to avoid scratching your veneers. Once your veneers become scratched, stains will penetrate them and lead to discoloration. To avoid this, make sure you’re not using abrasive toothpaste. We can give you recommendations about which are the best ones to use. And when you go to the dentist for a cleaning, mention that you have porcelain veneers (it never hurts to mention it–the hygienist might be new or might forget).
You should also try to quit smoking, and cut down on staining foods and beverages. If you do drink coffee, tea, and red wine regularly, try to use a straw at least some of the time to reduce contact with your veneered teeth.