Since getting my porcelain veneers about a year ago, I’ve noticed that they are starting to look gray. My dentist didn’t give me any formal care instructions after the procedure, so I have just been doing what I have always done – brushing with a hard-bristled tooth brush, Colgate and rinsing daily with Listerine (with alcohol). After a google search, I found out I should be using any of these products on my porcelain veneers. Why didn’t my dentist tell me to stay away from those products? Have I ruined my smile? — Justin
It’s really unfortunate that your dentist office didn’t do a better job of helping you understand how to care for your porcelain veneers. Listerine or any other alcohol-based mouthwash is a definite “no-no” for your veneers. If you like using mouthwash on a regular basis, you need to find one without alcohol. There are several brands out there and they are clearly labeled as alcohol-free. When it comes to brushing, trade that hard brush for soft-bristled. And while Colgate toothpaste is actually fine if you are using the regular formula, Supersmile would be even better if your dentist can order it for you.
With all that said, none of these things would necessarily make your veneers turn gray. At most, the Listerine and hard brushing could damage the margins and cause staining. Gray veneers usually mean one of two things – they are not truly porcelain or the surface/glaze has been damaged by something much stronger. Assuming you have had at least one cleaning since getting your veneers, do you know if the hygienist used a Prophy jet for polishing? It could be compared to having your teeth sand-blasted and would definitely damage the surface of your veneers. Check back with your dentist, if not the Prophy Jet or some other type of abrasive polishing done at the office, then your best answer would be that they are indeed, not porcelain.
This blog post is brought to you by Des Moines cosmetic dentist, Dr. Phelan Thomas. For more information on the services he provides, please visit his Des Moines cosmetic dentist website.