I have had porcelain veneers for at least five years on my front teeth. Over time, I was feeling like they were looking faded and kind of dull. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and use teeth whitening strips to lighten them up. Big mistake! Now I have this funky looking smile because the veneers are a different color than the rest of my teeth. What did I do? Please tell me something can be done?
-Amelia in North Dakota
Yikes that doesn’t sound good. Well, it will do little good to tell you this now, but let’s hope it helps someone else that may be tempted to whiten their veneers on their own. Porcelain veneers must be maintained with a non-abrasive toothpaste and professionally cleaned to keep them looking their best. Actually, non-teeth whitening toothpaste is recommended so the glaze is not compromised. All that to be said, porcelain veneers are highly resistant to stains. But over time it is not uncommon for them to loose their sparkle. Coffee, red wine, berries, and tea area all items that can cause discoloration. The best way to improve the look of your veneers is to have them professional cleaned in the dentist office.
Let’s discuss what has happened. Based on what you have described, it sounds like the surrounding teeth that do not have veneers on them are likely whiter than the veneered teeth. This is because teeth whitening strips will not whiten porcelain veneers. They will be the same color they were when you started, unless the barrier has been compromised and scratches have caused them to take on staining.
At this point, you’d be best served to make an appointment at your dentist office. They can assess them damage and determine if the veneers can be buffed and polished. Please don’t continue trying things at home. It will only make their appearance worse. If the staining cannot be taken care of and your surrounding teeth are truly much whiter now than the veneers, you may need to have the porcelain veneers replaced to match your whiter teeth.
Thanks for your question. Hopefully, you have saved someone else from making the same mistake.