Is it normal for porcelain veneers to stain?

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I loved my porcelain veneers when I first had them done. They gave me so much confidence and I loved the way I looked. After the first year, I felt like the whiteness has wore off. Then, as the weeks went by, I started noticing stains. When I went in for my regular dental cleaning, the stains came off. So, I was extra careful and used whitening toothpaste, but the stains returned very shortly after that visit. Is this normal?

-Lilia in Texas


Under most circumstances, porcelain veneers are quite durable. But if they aren’t taken care of properly or become scratched, they can discolor. Any kind of abrasive cleaners or products can damage the surface allowing them to pick up stains.

Did you see a cosmetic dentist for your cleaning? There should be extra precautions by the dental hygienist when cleaning and polishing porcelain veneers. There are certain tools that can leave scratches on the surface and further damage the coating on the veneers.

If indeed you are dealing with scratched veneers, they will need to be replaced. Whitening toothpaste will not work on porcelain. Any kind of teeth whitening products or treatments will not whiten veneers because the whitening agents only work on living surfaces. It should also be noted that you should be avoiding whitening toothpastes for regular daily hygiene and your cosmetic dentist should have informed you of this practice. You need to be gentle and use non-abrasive products on porcelain veneers. Whitening agents can damage veneers too because they are highly abrasive.

Tea, coffee, and red wine may be causing the discoloration, especially if the surface has been compromised. It sounds like you need to have them examined by a cosmetic dentist that understands the importance of proper placement and ongoing care with porcelain veneers.

Thank you for your question.

This post is sponsored by Lexington cosmetic dentist Hamburg Expressions.