Teeth Whitening vs. Porcelain Veneers

Teeth whitening has become increasingly popular over the last couple of decades. In fact, according to Statista.com, 37.0 million Americans used tooth whiteners in 2020. And though the number is anticipated to drop by 2024, tooth whitening will remain a popular element in adult smile makeovers. However, despite the popularity of whiter teeth, there are things that adults should keep in mind before undergoing a professional or over-the-counter tooth whitening procedure. One thing, in particular, is to ensure you have your teeth professionally whitened before you undergo a dental veneers treatment.

What are porcelain dental veneers?

Porcelain veneers are an exceptionally popular treatment in cosmetic dentistry. Made of translucent porcelain, dental veneers are durable and custom-designed to transform your smile’s radiance, alignment, and overall appearance. These wafer-thin shells cover the surface of your front teeth and effectively correct the following dental challenges:

  • Chips
  • Gaps
  • Stains
  • Discoloration
  • Overcrowding
  • Misalignments
  • “Gummy” smiles

Get your teeth whitened before your porcelain dental veneers are placed.

Because veneers are custom-made the first time around, they are designed to match the teeth you have. If you want to match your veneers to whiter teeth, get your teeth whitened first. Most dental restorations, including bonding, crowns, and tooth-colored fillings, will not whiten when you undergo a teeth whitening treatment. In fact, having a teeth whitening treatment done after restoration or getting veneers will create a “technicolor” effect where your veneers or restorations will be noticeably different than your remaining natural teeth.

Your dentist will also likely tell you that severe dental staining will be visible through your new porcelain veneers. And once the veneers are in place, future whitening treatments will be unable to reach the teeth underneath. Porcelain veneers do not stain and do not whiten, so you can always use whitening on your natural teeth again later to keep all of them looking the same as your veneers. And be sure to consider that your dental veneers will last a long time (approximately 10 to 12 years) so it’s worth it to get the shade you want.

How to Keep Your Porcelain Veneers White With 5 Simple Tips

Now that you have gone through the effort to get your teeth whitened to the tooth color that is right for you and to get porcelain veneers, you want to keep that new smile of yours as white as possible. After all, you don’t want to find yourself in the same situation years down the road, wondering why your teeth are suddenly discolored. And since whitening treatment doesn’t last forever, you want to take the appropriate precautions to protect your investment and your bright white smile.

Following these simple tips will help keep your smile white and bright for years to come.

1. Stay away from abrasive toothpaste.

Abrasive toothpaste can scratch or wear away the resin on your new porcelain veneers. These scratches make a great collection point for food debris and tartar, which can result in visible discoloration.

2. Limit your consumption of dark-colored beverages.

Red wine, coffee, tea, and caramel-colored sodas are notorious for staining teeth. So if you really want to continue drinking these beverages, then consider drinking through a straw. We realize that cutting out dark beverages isn’t necessarily doable for most people or something that they even want to consider. But a straw can help keep your teeth from coming into contact with the dark-colored beverage, thus lessening your risk for stains.

3. Avoid foods that stain.

This may be easier said than done, but if you have had professional teeth whitening done, or even an over-the-counter tooth whitening treatment and you have porcelain veneers, you should try to avoid staining foods. The usual culprits include tomato-based sauces, curry, and red berries.

4. Quit smoking.

If you are a smoker, chew tobacco, or use other tobacco products, take the steps to quit now and forever. Not only are these items harmful to your health and a contributor to oral cancer, but they will stain your teeth too.

5. Practice a solid daily oral hygiene regimen.

The foundation for oral health and continually white teeth starts at home. Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time, especially after breakfast and before bed. Floss between all of your teeth at least once a day to remove food particles that have become stuck in between them. And rinse with a fluoridated mouthwash to aid in washing away those food particles to help with fresher breath. Keeping your teeth and mouth clean is perhaps the most effective way to prevent teeth staining.

Monroe Family Dentistry offers teeth whitening and porcelain dental veneers!

If you’ve been dreaming of a smile makeover or brighter and whiter teeth, now is the time to make an appointment with your family dentist or cosmetic dentist for a consultation. And if you live or work in or near Greenville, SC, then Monroe Family Dentistry can help. Dr. Monroe and your dental team are well-versed in teeth whitening and porcelain veneers and can help you achieve the smile you have always dreamed of. Request an appointment today.