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Don’t Let Your Dental Veneers Turn Yellow: Tips to Keep Them Clean

You’ve got this beautiful smile with veneers that have served you well for years but you never expected them to turn yellow. And that’s making you unhappy. I’ve got some tips and pointers for how to prevent that from happening. 

Hi, I’m Brett Langston, an experienced prosthodontist and the director of Dental Implant and Aesthetics Specialist based in Brookhaven, Ga. I’m here to help you watch your mouth. 

So Why Do Veneers Change Colors?

When discussing veneers and their changing color, it’s important to determine what type of veneers you currently have on your teeth. There are two types. There are lab-made ceramic veneers that have a porcelain glaze layer that creates an impenetrable seal. It won’t allow the underlying ceramic to change colors. That shade is bonded here, too. It is going to stay the same until the veneer is removed. 

The mouth is a very harsh environment and puts a lot of wear and tear on restored materials and over time those veneers can become dull and cause discoloration to the diet and chemicals in the mouth. 

The stains usually occur at the edge where the veneer meets the two. That margin is very susceptible to staining and discoloration. Most of the time when we design these, we have the margin go below the gumline so that if there is any discoloration, it’s not seen. Unfortunately, over time as the body naturally remodeled bone and the gum tissue might receive a little bit, that edge becomes visible and at the visible edge is where that standing in this coloration might occur. And that’s generally the primary reason why we have to redo veneers. Unfortunately, that edge, the margin is also the place that gets stained when you have porcelain veneers. 

As we’ve discussed before, the mouth is a very harsh environment and puts a lot of wear and tear on the general materials we use to restore teeth. So over time, your veneers can become dull and discolored due to diet and the environment in your mouth.  

What Contributes to the Coloration of Veneers?

Many things contribute to the stain and discoloration of veneers. Some of the biggest dietary lifestyle habits are things that you would expect. You’ve got red wine, coffee, tea, nicotine, and foods even like blueberries, dark chocolate, and cumin, can stain the teeth. 

These are all things you have to be aware of, so if they’re in your diet, you need to modify your lifestyle and make sure you don’t leave that long-term exposure on the teeth. 

Oral hygiene care for veneers is the same as for your teeth without veneers. It’s important to maintain a healthy environment so the veneers have the best chance of long-term success. 

What Kind of Toothpaste Should You Use?

When it comes to toothpaste, the most important thing to consider is that it has fluoride. There are certain brands of holistic toothpaste I don’t want to name names that don’t have fluoride. Unfortunately, many people don’t get adequate amounts of fluoride in the normal diet and they don’t drink tap water anymore. So bottled water unfortunately has no fluoride. 

So the only way a lot of patients can get an adequate amount of fluoride is through fluoridated toothpaste. The fluoride in toothpaste not only repairs minor defects and surface errors, but it also helps strengthen the truth and prevent further breakdown. So I have a lot of patients that have a certain brand or certain style. For me, as long as it’s approved by the American Dental Association, it’s a good brand and it has fluoride in it, whatever tastes great. 

What to Watch Out For in Toothpaste

One thing to watch out for is toothpaste in our super whitening or ultra light. They’re okay for occasional use, but the problem is they achieve their effect by having a large particle size that is very abrasive. And so when you use them, they do a good job removing surface stains, getting down into a nice, healthy enamel. But the downside is repeated use can actually cause micro scratches and defects in the surface, and then those defects are actually more prone to picking up stain and decay. So it’s kind of like a bad circle that you get everything wiped off but in doing so you leave marks and scratches that are just going to pick up staying again. 

Use the Right Toothbrush

It’s also important to make sure you’re using a toothbrush that you can actually manipulate to get all the notes and cranes of your mouth. I have a lot of patients that as their dexterity decreases they can’t get it where they need to get it with a normal toothbrush. I’m a really big fan of electric brushes. The addition of the manual stimulation of the gum tissue with also the electronic stimulation really gets into place and you can’t quite reach and clean.


There are lots of brands out there and they all do a great job. And the only other take-home message on that is to not ever use a hard bristle toothbrush. Hard bristles do a lot of damage, Not only to the gum tissue but also to the underlying root structure. Medium is okay. I suppose if I have my way, I’d rather you use a soft bristle brush, ideally one that has either ultrasonic or electric stimulation as well. 

Watch Out for Bad Habits

You need to watch out for bad habits, and you can minimize the damage to veneers and natural teeth by following some general hygiene tips. 

Stop Smoking

Number one smoking. Nicotine and tobacco are notorious for staining and breaking down teeth. When left on the tooth structure, especially for an extended amount of time it can cause a lot of damage and cause staining really easily. 

Use Straws 

One option that really works is using a straw to drink your wine or your coffee. It may seem weird and you’ll get a lot of strange looks, but it does a really good job of keeping liquids off your veneers. 

Schedule Regular Cleanings

My last piece of advice would be to schedule regular cleanings of our hygienists every six months. These checkups not only allow our hygienists to get in there and clean everything and get you a nice, healthy base level, but it also gives us a chance to evaluate and check out the veneers at a really in-depth level to make sure there are not any cracks, any breakdown, any micro staining, or any damage that we could possibly fix at an early stage before it becomes a bigger issue. 

Protect Your Investment in Your Teeth

Protecting your investment is very important to make sure that your teeth last a long time because you put time and money into this process and you want your smile to last for the rest of your life. Schedule your appointment with our team today!