Porcelain veneers are a great investment in your smile. Not only can they dramatically improve the appearance of your smile, they can last ten years or more with proper care. But with the long time frame of their life, there is some concern that they will become stained.
The good news is that porcelain veneers are highly stain resistant, and with proper care should continue to look beautiful for their entire functional life.
Stain Resistant Properties of Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers have surfaces that are tightly sealed. This prevents staining liquids and chemicals from penetrating into the veneer. In fact, the surface of the veneer often doesn’t even get wet, but repels liquids so they just slide off.
However, over time some small amount of staining material can begin to cling to the veneer. Cigarette smoke is particularly bad because the smoke contains tar and other compounds that are very sticky and cling to the surface of the teeth. This process accelerates, because once there are some staining materials on the surface, more can stick to them and cause the stain to grow.
These minor surface stains can be easily polished away during your regular dental visit. This is not a major concern.
A more serious concern is if your veneers become scratched. If you use an abrasive toothpaste, you can wear away the glaze on the veneer, making it more vulnerable to staining.
Another serious concern is the potential for staining the tooth or cement behind the veneer. These are susceptible to staining by all the normal foods and drinks that cause staining. Once these stain, it can show through the veneer.
Preventing Stains on Your Veneers
There are many things you can do to prevent stains on your porcelain veneers. Avoiding smoke and minimizing staining foods and beverages is a great place to start. Make sure you use only toothpaste approved by your dentist–many toothpastes have abrasive compounds in them that can scratch veneers.
Minimize exposure of the teeth to staining compounds by using a straw to drink dark-colored beverages. Cut down on soda and acidic beverages that can erode your teeth.
Most importantly, see your dentist regularly for a thorough, gentle cleaning of your veneers.