Teeth Whitening Gel or Baking Soda to Brighten Your Dull Veneers?

Are you thinking about using teeth whitening or baking soda to brighten your porcelain veneers? What you use to clean your veneers can maximize—or minimize—their lifespan.

The Properties of Porcelain Veneers

Well-made porcelain veneers replicate tooth enamel. Although porcelain beautifully mimics enamel, the properties of porcelain are different. The dental ceramics used to make veneers are harder than tooth enamel. And veneers are stain resistant. So how can you whiten them?

Teeth Whitening

Photo of upper and lower teeth whitening trays in a blue case; for information on teeth alignment from the office Plano dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.
Teeth-whitening treatments won’t brighten porcelain veneers

Professional bleaching gel is made of carbamide peroxide, which penetrates through tooth enamel into the dentin in teeth. The gel lightens the natural pigmentation in your teeth. But porcelain veneers are colorfast—teeth whitening won’t change their color.

Baking Soda or Teeth-Whitening Toothpaste?

Powdered baking soda is abrasive. If used for an extended period, it can scratch tooth enamel or the surface of porcelain veneers. Additionally, most types of toothpaste—including those with teeth whitening properties—are too abrasive to use for an extended period on cosmetic dental work. At the margin of your gumline and the veneers, abrasive pastes can wear away the composite bonding that secures the veneers to your teeth.

Many advanced cosmetic dentists recommend low-abrasion toothpaste for any cosmetic work, including porcelain veneers. Supersmile® toothpaste is gentle on teeth and cosmetic work.

Bottom line: Don’t use powdered baking soda or teeth-whitening gels or pastes on your porcelain veneers. Long-term use will create scratches that attract stains. Use a low-abrasion brand of toothpaste that is recommended by your cosmetic dentist.

If Your Porcelain Veneers Are Dull or Stained

If porcelain veneers are stain resistant, why do yours look dull? Several factors can cause veneers to look dark and detract from your smile, including:

  • Bacteria leaking behind the cosmetic work
  • Excess dental cement that your dentist didn’t thoroughly remove when bonding the veneers to your teeth
  • Damage that results when a hygienist uses dental instruments or chemicals that work well on tooth enamel but not on veneers

It’s best to determine the cause of your dull or stained veneers. Teeth whitening gels or pastes won’t help. You can schedule an appointment for an exam with an advanced cosmetic dentist. Your cosmetic dentist might be able to polish your veneers and enhance their gloss. He or she will explain your options.

Miranda Lacy, DDS, a female dentist in Plano, TX, sponsors this post.

Affordable vs. Cheap Dentures – 5 Clues to Knowing What You’ll Receive

Affordable dental care and cheap dental care yield different results for your oral health. If you’re looking for affordable dentures, there are ways to ensure you still get quality replacement teeth.

Ask Your Dentist about the Process

You can schedule a consultation to ask your dentist about his or her protocol for providing dentures that look and feel great. You can also ask about options to make dental treatment affordable for you. Make a checklist of the items below to keep track of your dentist’s process. If you’re hesitant after the discussion, you can schedule a consultation with another dentist.

1.      Consultation

Diagram of a lower snap-on denture for information on Plano TX affordable dentistry from Dr. Miranda Lacy.
An affordable dentist can provide snap-on dentures

During a consultation, you and your dentist will discuss your concerns. You’ll learn about your options for dentures, including implant overdentures. Your dentist will also listen as you describe how you want your new smile to look. He or she will discuss the costs and how treatment can be made affordable to you.

2.      Impressions of your mouth

Dentists who want to achieve the most accurate fit for dentures take two-step impressions. And some dentists use three steps. Although you can find cheap dentures, the attention to detail ensures you get value from affordable dental care.

  • Preliminary – Your dentist takes a preliminary model of your jaw to make custom trays for a final impression. This step produces an accurately fitting denture. Although many dentists use stock trays, they are less accurate than a custom mold of your mouth.
  • Border impression – Some dentists use a heaver impression material to record the portion of your mouth that the denture border will touch. The border of an upper denture regulates the suction that will keep your denture in place. An accurate border means a better-fitting denture.
  • Inner impression – The next step is to use a medium impression material to register the details of the soft tissue inside the border.

3.      Wax model

Your dentist will make a wax model of the denture for you to put in your mouth. It’s a guide to let you know how your replacement teeth will look and feel. It doesn’t represent an exact fit of your final denture. But if the denture teeth are too large or too small—this is your opportunity to request changes. Otherwise, affordable dental care becomes expensive when you’re not satisfied and need to repeat the process to get new dentures.

4.      Fit check

When your denture is ready, you’ll try it on. Your dentist will check your bite (the way your upper and lower teeth fit together) and ensure the denture is comfortable. Sometimes relining or adjustments are needed.

5.      Follow-Up Appointments

Your affordable dentures will be worthwhile if your dentist schedules follow-up appointments to ensure your gums are healthy and your dentures are functioning well. A poor-fitting oral appliance can lead oral health issues that cost you more money in the future.

It’s More Affordable to Get Dentures Right the First Time

Although a dentist with a multi-step process might have higher fees, in the long term, preventing costly mistakes will be more affordable for you. Precautions will save you time and money. Look for a few experienced dentists in your area. Schedule consultations and take notes of the steps each dentist completes to ensure your affordable dental care isn’t cheap in quality.

This post is sponsored by Plano, TX female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.