Is it possible that my mouthwash or possibly my toothpaste is causing my porcelain veneers to turn gray? I had them done nine months ago and I didn’t anticipate them discoloring for years. When I jumped online I saw a reference about avoiding products with alcohol in them. Could this be the reason they are turning gray? My dentist didn’t give me any special instructions or recommendations on which products to avoid. Can you please let me know your opinion?
-Grant in New Jersey
It is surprising to hear that your dentist didn’t provide you with any instructions on how to best maintain and care for your new porcelain veneers. Your initial search online does have some truth to it. But in addition to that, you should be aware of some other practices about keeping your veneers looking their best.
- Avoid any dental hygiene products with alcohol in them. You should be able to find alcohol-free mouthwashes. Alcohol-containing products can be damaging to your veneers.
- Your toothpaste should be non-whitening or non-tartar control. Regular Colgate or Crest formulations should suffice. This is because you need to avoid anything too abrasive. The stronger whitening toothpastes contain highly abrasive whitening agents. You may be interested in a product called Supersmile, which is recommended by many cosmetic dentists because it cares and cleans for the teeth without being harsh or abrasive.
- Your toothbrush needs to have soft bristles. A hard bristle tooth brush can damage the protective glaze that covers the porcelain veneers.
Even if your mouthwash and daily hygiene products contain alcohol, this likely isn’t the reason your veneers are turning gray. It is possible that an alcohol-containing mouthwash combined with a hard bristle tooth brush could damage the margin. But if it is indeed the veneers that are turning gray, it sounds like the surface must be damaged.
Have you had a cleaning since having your porcelain veneers placed? The reason for this question is that some of the tools used by dental hygienists can damage veneers. For example, a Prophy Jet or other polishing equipment can damage the glaze and scratch those surfaces. Then, bacteria or food particles can cause discoloration of the veneers when the surface is scratched.
The other possibility is that your porcelain veneers may not have been made of some other material.
Hopefully this provides some insight into what could be happening with your gray porcelain veneers.