I am a smoker, and I drink 2 cups of coffee every morning. Five of my front teeth are chipped, so I am interested in porcelain veneers. I wonder if it is worth paying more than $2,000 per tooth if smoking and drinking coffee will stain the veneers. I have no intention of quitting either habit. Smoking and drinking coffee are better than some of my habits when I was in my 20s and 30s. I struggled with smoking and Invisalign but managed to keep my Invisalign trays somewhat clear. Veneers are the final way to perfect my smile. Am I wasting my money if I get veneers that will eventually stain? – Thank you. Vince from Seattle
Thank you for your question.
Will Coffee and Smoking Stain Porcelain Veneers?
High-quality, well-bonded porcelain veneers are stain resistant and color stable. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry confirms that veneers can resist stains from coffee, tea, and cigarettes. However, bargain veneers or veneers from a dentist who does not practice good bonding techniques may attract stains in areas where your teeth and veneers meet, especially around your tums. Still, porcelain veneers do not prevent your natural teeth from staining.
Your Teeth Can Still Stain with Veneers
Your teeth can still stain with veneers because the porcelain shells only cover the fronts of your teeth. Veneers leave the back, or tongue side, of your teeth exposed. Coffee, tea, and cigarettes smoke will continue to stain and darken them. Additionally, tobacco use is a leading cause of gum disease, which can threaten the health of your teeth and veneers.
Take Care of Your Teeth and Veneers
Your porcelain veneers in top condition with good oral hygiene habits:
- Use non-abrasive toothpaste. Avoid abrasive whitening toothpaste. It will not whiten your veneers anyway.
- Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush twice daily.
- Floss daily.
- Avoid using your teeth as tools to open or shred items.
- Get your veneers maintained by a dentist with advanced cosmetic dentistry training. Cosmetic dentists and their hygienists know which dental tools and substances may scratch your veneers or loosen the bonding.
- Avoid trying to whiten your veneers. Allow a cosmetic dentist to polish them.
Select Your Cosmetic Dentist Carefully
If you choose a dentist with advanced cosmetic dentistry training, you can receive high-quality veneers that look natural. And if you take good care of your veneers, they can last ten to fifteen years—or longer. Weigh the pros and cons of how drinking coffee and smoking affect the color of your natural teeth and how smoking affects your gum health. After a consultation with a cosmetic dentist, you can decide if veneers are worth it.
Cosmetic dentist Dr. Steve Sirin of Elgin, Illinois, sponsors this post.