Close to a year ago I started getting these mysterious brown stains on my teeth. My dentist could not figure out what was causing them. I finally went to see a natural dentist who diagnosed them as fluoride stains. I couldn’t imagine how I could be getting fluoride stains at this age, but then I read the tea I drink is fluorinated, so that must be it. Can you recommend a dentist who can do dental bonding to cover these, please? I am 60 years old and am suddenly embarrassed to smile.
I am puzzled at your dentist’s inability to diagnose this, as well as surprised at the natural dentist’s diagnosis. Let’s start with the natural dentist. Fluorosis stains are caused by ingesting too much fluoride while your teeth are still forming. There is no way to get fluorosis stains as an adult. A lot of natural dentists are against fluoride, which may be why he or she said that but it shows a fundamental misunderstanding about both dentistry and fluoride.
Now that we have crossed off the fluoride cause, what is it actually? At your age, there are two types of brown stains you can be getting. The first is external. These should be able to be polished off by your dentist rather easily. I would also recommend using Supersmile toothpaste. It is very good at removing external stains. Yet, unlike other whitening toothpastes, it does not cause damage to your enamel.
The second type of stain is internal. Our teeth absorb pigments from food and drink. You mentioned you drink tea. This beverage, along with coffee, is well known for its staining pigments, so that would be the top suspect in my detective notebook.
The solution to these internal stains is bleaching, not bonding. If you want to get rid of them fast, I recommend Zoom Whitening over take-home trays.
I have some dental bonding that seems to be picking up some stains. Would whitening toothpaste brighten them up? If not, what about professional teeth whitening?
Almost all whitening toothpastes contain abrasives. While those abrasives can make your teeth look whiter, they do so at the cost of damaging the enamel. That in turn causes your teeth to pick up stains more easily practically making you dependent on using their whitening toothpaste.
I do have a solution for you, but before I go into that, let’s talk about your second option. Professional teeth whitening isn’t a good solution either, It does a marvelous job of whitening natural tooth structure. Unfortunately, it only whitens natural tooth structure. Any dental work, such as dental bonding or dental crowns, will remain the same color.
Getting Dental Bonding Whiter
In order to get this dental bonding the way you want it, you will first need to determine the reason behind the staining. If the polish is still on your bonding, then you have surface stains. If the polish isn’t there, you’ve got to have the bonding re-done. You didn’t say how long you had the bonding. They don’t last nearly as long as something like porcelain veneers.
If the polish is still there and you’re dealing with surface stains, there is an easy solution. If you remember, I told you almost all whitening toothpastes use abrasives. The exception to this is Supersmile Toothpaste. Its stain-removing ingredient is Calprox. This enzymatically dissolves the protein pellicle layer that covers your teeth. Stains attach themselves to that pellicle and are removed simultaneously.
I recently had porcelain veneers placed, before all this quarantine craziness. I do love the veneers but want to make sure I take good care of them. Is there a particular toothpaste or mouthwash I should be using. Normally, I make my own mouthwash, but don’t want to use it if the ingredients are bad for my veneers. Our governor closed all dental offices so I don’t think I can even reach my dentist.
Here’s my recipe:
8 oz. of filtered water
8 oz. of 3% hydrogen peroxide
2 T. of sea salt
I’m glad to hear you love your porcelain veneers. Too many patients end up with a disappointing smile because they don’t go to a skilled and experienced cosmetic dentist.
Caring For Your Porcelain Veneers
Let’s start with the toothpaste. Generally, for any type of cosmetic dental work, I recommend Supersmile toothpaste. It was specifically designed to work with all types of porcelain as well as normal tooth structure. Unique in its ability to keep your teeth stain-free without damaging the glaze on your porcelain veneers or the enamel on your teeth.
Other whitening brands of toothpaste contain abrasives. While they can make your teeth look whiter and cleaner for a while, they are also putting micro etches into the tooth, which will cause it to pick up stains more quickly.
As for mouthwash, when you brush and floss regularly, you really would only need mouthwash occasionally, if at all. If you do want to use a mouthwash, the one thing you want to avoid is any mouthwash which contains alcohol. The alcohol will eat away at the bonding that keeps your veneers attached to your teeth.
The recipe you listed, while safe for your porcelain veneers, has one ingredient which requires caution. Hydrogen peroxide is great at killing bacteria. Unfortunately, it will also kill the helpful microbes allowing candida yeast to thrive.
If you use this recipe sparingly, like once a week, you should be fine. Much more than that and you’ll end up with thrush, which is an oral yeast infection.
I hope this was helpful. Enjoy the extra time with your family during this COVID-19 quarantine.
I had porcelain veneers placed almost two years ago. I’ve been happy with them, but recently have noticed staining between my teeth. I do smoke, but I was pretty sure these were supposed to be pretty resistant to change. Is something going bad on them?
You are correct that porcelain veneers are quite stain resistant. I wish I had a picture of your particular case. It would help to make a more certain suggestion.
Often, when people are talking about stains on their porcelain veneers, it is because their hygienist used some type of power prophy jet, which takes the glaze off. When that happens, the staining ends up covering the entire veneer However, you said it is just between the teeth.
I can think of two possibilities for that. The first possibility is the porcelain veneers aren’t flush with your teeth in the edges there. That will be tricky to fix. If that ends up being your issue, I’d seek an AACD accredited dentist (not just a member) to do the work.
The second possibility is that there is some composite bonding there which needs polishing up. Your dentist may even have recommended this as part of your regular maintenance. Most do. With you being a smoker, it will be even more important.
However, go back to the dentist who did you porcelain veneers, don’t expect your family dentist to know how to do this.
Porcelain Veneer Upkeep
In addition to periodically having the polishing done for their longevity, it’s helpful if you use a toothpaste which is specifically designed for cosmetic work. Supersmile is the one most cosmetic dentists recommend.
If you like using a mouthwash, you don’t need to get anything special. Just be certain you don’t use one which contains alcohol. That will eat away at the bonding that holds them onto your teeth.
I had porcelain veneers placed on about a month ago. Two of them have fallen off. I went in to see my dentist about it. He agreed to bond them back on free of charge. When I asked them why they fell off, he got offended and blamed my mouthwash. Is that accurate? Am I damaging my porcelain veneers?
There are certain mouthwashes that could (eventually) cause a problem with your porcelain veneers. I doubt any of them would cause them to fall off that quickly. It sounds like your dentist is passing the buck for his poor bonding technique.
Most mouthwashes are fine to use with your dental implants. The ones to watch out for containing alcohol. Listerine is the biggest culprit. It can contain up to 21% alcohol. If you avoid that ingredient, you should be fine and there are plenty of brands to choose from. Crest Pro-Health and Breath-Rx are two alcohol-free brands. Many dental offices even sell it in-office.
I’m a little concerned with the response your dentist gave you. I don’t like it when professionals don’t take responsibility for their mistakes. The bonding on porcelain veneers is quite strong and, when properly done, lasts the lifetime of the veneers. Yes, there are things which can damage it, but rarely is that seen to wear down so quickly. Is your dentist one who does a lot of cosmetic procedures or just a family dentist who dabbles in cosmetic work? That can make a huge difference in their technical skill, artistry, and even knowledge of their work.
In case they’re not an office with expertise in porcelain veneers, I want to warn you about something before your next check-up. Under no circumstances should your hygienist use any power polishing equipment, such as a prophy jet. This will take the glaze right off your porcelain veneers. Then they’ll become dull looking and pick up stains quickly. In short, it will ruin them. If this isn’t a practice that knows a lot about cosmetics, their hygienist may not be trained in these procedures.
Caring for Your Porcelain Veneers
Choose a soft toothbrush
Often, we encounter patients who use hard toothbrushes thinking the firmness means it cleans better. The opposite is actually the case. All the hard brush will do is scratch your veneers and wear down your gums. Even brushing hard can damage your gums, so brush gently.
Choose Your Toothpaste Carefully
While we’re on the subject of toothbrushes, let’s talk about toothpaste. First, avoid whitening toothpaste. They have abrasives in it which is supposed to attack stains. They do. But, they also attack the glazing on both natural tooth structure and dental work, like porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns. This will cause them to actually pick up stains more readily. While teeth whitening can help with natural tooth structure, it can’t do anything for dental work.
The best brand of toothpaste for any kind of cosmetic dental work is Supersmile. It’s specifically formulated for cosmetic dental work.
Floss every day
This one is pretty self-explanatory. You need to keep healthy gums.
Avoid using mouthwash which contains alcohol
We’ve already gone over this in-depth so we won’t rehash it here.
Get cleaning from an experienced cosmetic practice
We’ve discussed above the damage power polishing equipment can do. The same is true of a pumice. The problem is there are many things a dentist or hygienist can do to ruin your veneers. That’s why it’s important to go to a clinic who doesn’t need additional training.
Consider getting a mouthguard
This is only necessary if you happen to be someone who grinds or clenches their teeth. Those habits can do serious damage not only to your cosmetic work but to your teeth in general. It can lead to chipped or broken teeth and even TMJ Disorder. The problem is most people don’t even realize they’re doing it because they only do it in their sleep. A good dentist keeps an eye out for that and checks for the signs. If you’re not sure, ask your dentist. A mouthguard isn’t very expensive and can protect you from additional harm.
I just invested a lot of money with porcelain veneers and really love them. I feel beautiful for the first time in my life. I’ve always been a mouthwash user. It’s just a habit I’ve developed over the years to avoid bad breath. I don’t want to do anything to damage them and wondered if it’s safe to use my mouthwash on them.
I’m thrilled you’re pleased with your smile makeover with porcelain veneers. Under a skilled, artistic dentist they can be absolutely stunning. It’s also fantastic that you are looking for ways to take care of them right from the beginning.
Mouthwash isn’t necessary and often is the cause of bad breath which makes you continue using it, but there are mouthwashes that are safe to use with your porcelain veneers. The most important thing is to check the ingredients. You want a mouthwash that is alcohol-free.
Alcohol will eat away at the bonding material that keeps your porcelain veneers secured to your teeth. You’ll start with micro-leakage then the veneers themselves can fall off. Using alcohol-free mouthwash won’t negatively impact your bonding.
Caring For Your Porcelain Veneers
There are important steps you can take to ensure your veneers last for a long time. The most important thing is good oral hygiene. On top of brushing twice a day, make sure you’re regularly flossing. While the veneers protect the parts of your teeth they cover, you can still develop decay in the exposed parts of your teeth. Then you’ll be looking at getting a filling by your porcelain veneers which can be tricky.
The toothpaste you choose is important. You can use over-the-counter toothpaste, just make sure it’s not a whitening toothpaste. Those contain abrasives which can scratch your veneers. The scratched portions can pick up stains. If you want a toothpaste specifically designed for cosmetic work, order Supersmile Toothpaste. This is the ideal toothpaste, but it costs more than your typical over-the-counter brand.
Finally, make sure you’re going to a dental practice that understands cosmetic dentistry for your check-ups and cleanings. They’ll train their hygienists not to use anything like a prophy jet which can remove the glaze from your veneers.
I’ve had porcelain veneers for about one-year. In fact, I’m still paying on them. I noticed today they’re picking up some mild staining between my teeth. I thought they were stain resistant. Is something wrong? What do I do?
You’re right that porcelain veneers are stain resistant. In fact, they’re more resistant than our natural teeth and should last you many years with proper maintenance. If damage had been done to your veneers, which is possible if your hygienist uses a prophy jet or an acidulated fluoride, the staining is over the entire tooth.
Because your stains are between the teeth, it makes me think you’ve got some composite bonding staining there. Though, I couldn’t tell you exactly without seeing a picture of it. This is fairly easy to solve and is actually just part of routine maintenance for your veneers. However, your average family dentist won’t know this polishing procedure. So, for this particular part of your regular maintenance, I’d go back to the dentist who placed your veneers to begin with.
Proper Maintenance for your Porcelain Veneers
Daily Oral Care: Be sure you’re brushing and flossing regularly. While your veneers are decay resistant, the exposed parts of your teeth are not. You’ll need to keep up with your care so you don’t end up needing a filling on a veneered tooth.
Toothpaste: I’m sure your cosmetic dentist already told you this, but the ideal toothpaste for you to use is Supersmile toothpaste. It’s specifically designed for use with cosmetic work.
Regular Polishing: Just as your veneers were polished when you first received them, you need to schedule regular re-polishing appointments. The hygienist uses ultra-fine polishing strips in this area and an aluminum oxide polishing paste. For smokers, that’s even more important.