I got 6 porcelain veneers in 2001.They are stained and a pale yellow. I am an avid cigar smoker. It’s a hobby that I love and I know that probably has something to do it. I tried brushing them with baking soda but that didn’t seem to help. Can put whitening strips on them to lighten them up some or does a dentist need to whiten them? Jim

Jim – Neither teeth whitening strips nor any other form of teeth whitening will whiten porcelain veneers. The whitening will not lighten the veneers at all because porcelain is colorfast. Only non-abrasive toothpaste should be used on your veneers. Other substances, including baking soda can scratch the surface of the veneers and make them stain more easily.

Veneers can last up to 20 years, but as you suspect, your cigar smoking is likely contributing to the stains. Your veneers need to be examined by an experienced cosmetic dentist. A skilled cosmetic dentist will determine if the stains on your veneers are surface stains that can be polished away, and show you brushing techniques to help minimize the stains.

It is possible that the age and condition of the veneers will make it difficult to improve their appearance. It may be time to replace them.

Only an experienced cosmetic dentist can properly polish your veneers. If they need to be replaced, be sure to have the restoration done by an artistic dentist who can product beautiful results that will last.

This post is sponsored by award-winning Colorado Springs cosmetic dentist Dr. Joseph Rota.