Can You Whiten Porcelain Veneers? - Smile Stories
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Can You Whiten Porcelain Veneers?

how to whiten porcelain veneers

Porcelain veneers used to disguise teeth and transform smiles are very resistant to staining. They will stay bright and shiny for life if looked after. But if yours don’t look quite as white as they once did you may be wondering if and how you can whiten porcelain veneers.

Porcelain veneers whilst resistant to staining can start to look dirty and less white for a number of reasons. Sadly they cannot be whitened with over-the-counter tooth whitening toothpaste and gels. These products can cause damage resulting in veneers that stain easily. 

There’s good news! Aesthetic dentists can whiten them with professional cleanings, and special whitening treatments. If required they can be replaced.

This post explains why porcelain veneers are resistant to staining and what causes them to look discoloured. We also discuss how you can keep them white.

Porcelain Veneers Are Resistant To Staining!

Porcelain veneers are made of a type of ceramic material that is highly resistant to staining. The surface of the veneers is non-porous. This means that it does not absorb liquids or other substances that can cause discolouration. 

If Porcelain Veneers Don’t Stain Why Do My Porcelain Veneers Look Dull, Stained and Dirty?

If your porcelain veneers look dull, stained or dirty, it could be due to a number of factors. Some possible causes include:

  • Microscratches: Porcelain veneers are durable but the surface can get develop microscratches. These tiny scratches are caused by wear and tear or improper cleaning techniques. Abrasive kinds of toothpaste and some acidic foods and drinks can also lead to scratches forming. The rough surface can trap pigments, food and plaque affecting the colour of the veneers.
  • Gum recession: Gum recession occurs when the gums pull away from the teeth. As the gums recede, the underlying tooth, tooth roots and the edge of the dental cement can become exposed. This can make the edge of the veneers look discoloured. Plaque and tartar (hardened plaque sometimes called calculus) can build up along these exposed surfaces and the edge of the veneer making your veneers appear dirty.
  • Natural Teeth Change Colour: If your teeth become darker due to staining or damage this can sometimes show through the porcelain veneers
  • Bond Changes Colour: Dental cement used to bond porcelain veneers in place may discolour. If it does, and this edge of the veneer is visible, the veneers can look stained. 
  • Improperly placed veneers: can appear stained if part of the underlying tooth is exposed.
  • The incorrect type of veneer fitted: Veneers come in different thicknesses. Ultra-thin veneers cannot cover heavily strained teeth – the staining shows through.
  • It’s important to get porcelain veneers fitted by highly trained aesthetic dentists. Smile Stories provides highly trained aesthetic dentists who ensure your porcelain veneers are fitted correctly so they look amazing!

What Can Stain Porcelain Veneers?

As we mentioned, porcelain veneers are very resistant to staining but the teeth and bonding along the edges, as well as micro scratches on the surface, can cause discolouration. The following can lead to staining.

  • Improper oral hygiene: If you don’t properly brush and floss your teeth, plaque and bacteria can build up around the edges of the veneers, which can cause discolouration.
  • Lack of maintenance: Regular dental cleanings and health checks are important to maintain the appearance of porcelain veneers. Without regular maintenance, the veneers may appear dirty and discoloured due to the accumulation of plaque and bacteria.
  • Pigmented foods and drinks: Excessive consumption of some foods and drinks stain the teeth and bonding. Some examples include:
    • Dark-coloured beverages such as coffee, tea, and red wine
    • Dark-coloured fruits and vegetables such as berries, soy sauce, and tomato sauce
    • Carbonated drinks – these contain acid which can etch (scratch) the surface over time 
    • Curries and spicy food

How To Keep Porcelain Veneers White

To maintain the appearance of your veneers, the following can help reduce staining of teeth, bonding and micro scratches.

  • Limit or avoid consuming foods and drinks known to stain teeth. Brush your teeth after consuming them
  • Sip water throughout the day
  • Maintain proper oral hygiene – brush the teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and clean interdental spaces daily.
  • Have regular dental cleanings and checkups. 
  • Avoid smoking and products containing nicotine

Find out more about how to look after your porcelain veneers here or ask your dentist.

Will Whitening Toothpastes and Whitening Products Keep Porcelain Veneers White?

No, these products will not whiten your veneers and repeated use of these products may actually cause them to become stained.

Many kinds of whitening toothpaste contain abrasive ingredients which damage the glazed surface of the veneer. These damaged areas can trap pigments, causing the veneers to look discoloured.

You can’t whiten them at home but dental professionals can make them whiter.

Professional Whitening Treatments for Porcelain Veneers 

Dentists can whiten your porcelain veneers in the following ways. 

  • Professional cleaning: this can help reduce the amount of plaque, food debris and staining on teeth and along the edges of the veneers
  • Professional tooth whitening – if the backs of your teeth have darkened and this is showing through the veneers dentists can whiten the rear of your teeth. 
  • Replace dental cement – have discoloured dental cement replaced with new bond for white veneers
  • Replacement veneers: have incorrectly fitting veneers replaced with bright white porcelain veneers.


Porcelain veneers are resistant to staining but they can appear discoloured for a number of reasons.

Your dentist can determine the cause of discolouration and the best course of action for whitening your porcelain veneers. They may suggest professional cleaning, whitening treatments of your teeth or replacing the veneers.

We Can Help Whiten Your Porcelain Veneers

Are you looking to whiten your porcelain veneers? Get in touch with the skilled aesthetic dentists here at Smile Stories and we can make your porcelain veneers white and shiny again.