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Brian LeSage, DDS, FAGD, FAACD

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Archives for July 2020

Polishing a Porcelain Veneer the Right Way

Two weeks ago, I saw a scratch in the porcelain veneer on my left front tooth. I scheduled an appointment with my cosmetic dentist. She looked at my tooth and said she could buff it out. Although she buffed my tooth and it feels smooth, when I dry the tooth and look at it in the mirror, I notice that it is no longer shiny. It looks matte. She told me that she used cups and a thin polishing mechanism, not a prophy jet.  I am concerned that the dull area will stain. Is this common, or will I need a new veneer? – Thanks. Andrew from New Mexico



A matte finish makes porcelain more susceptible to stain. A skilled cosmetic dentist can polish the veneer, give it luster, and almost match the original glaze. Although it doesn’t require the same specialized skill as a smile makeover, polishing a veneer involves knowledge of the process and specialized materials.

How Can a Dentist Polish Porcelain?

A single porcelain veneer held by dental forceps

Polishing porcelain veneers isn’t as challenging as completing a smile makeover

A cosmetic dentist can polish porcelain by using meticulous polishing techniques along with diamond polishing instruments, polishing paste, and ultra-fine diamond polishing paste at the end.

If your current cosmetic dentist placed your veneers and you’re happy with his work, you can return to her. Ask for a higher shine and tell her that you received a suggestion to use Brasseler’s Dialite porcelain polishing system to restore the gloss to your veneer.

Increase Your Comfort with a Second Opinion

If you’re not sure if you want your dentist to polish your veneer again, schedule an appointment with an accredited cosmetic dentist for a second opinion. Dentists who earn accreditation have advanced training in dental aesthetics. They demonstrate advanced skill and technique by passing rigorous exams and submitting successful patient cases that they completed from start to finish.

Brian P. LeSage, DDS, a Beverly Hills accredited cosmetic dentist, sponsors this post.

Will Peroxide Mouthwash Damage Porcelain Veneers?

I received porcelain veneers in January. My breath hasn’t been so fresh lately. I know that I should avoid mouthwash with alcohol as an ingredient. Two days ago, I made an alcohol-free mouthwash. I should have thought to ask before I made it. Is this solution okay for my veneers: 8 ounces of filtered and boiled water, 8 ounces of 3% hydrogen peroxide, and 2 tablespoons of sea salt? Not to worry. I won’t use it until I receive a reply from you. Thanks for your help. Jeannine


It’s good that you know not to use an alcohol-based mouthwash when you have porcelain veneers. Although alcohol won’t loosen your them, it softens the bonding agent that secures the veneers to your teeth. And it causes ditching and staining around the edges of veneers.

Is Peroxide Mouthwash Safe for Veneers?

Your mouthwash recipe will cause other problems. Hydrogen peroxide is the active ingredient in your mouthwash. Although hydrogen peroxide bubbles, releases oxygen, and kills harmful bacteria in your mouth, it also kills many beneficial microbes. Without beneficial microbes, the harmful ones—including the yeast, candida albicans—will thrive.

It’s helpful to rinse your mouth with hydrogen peroxide for occasional or short-term use. But if you consistently use it—perhaps for two weeks—the candida albicans will grow, and you won’t have any healthy microbes in your mouth to stop it. You’ll get an oral yeast infection that causes the mucosal surfaces in your mouth to turn white and peel. Afterward, you’ll have raw, red, and painful patches in your mouth.

Alcohol-Free Mouthwash for Porcelain Veneers

If you want to use mouthwash, you can find several clearly-labeled alcohol-free brands. You can use them without damaging your porcelain veneers. Our advice is to brush your teeth and floss between them thoroughly. Diligent oral hygiene will minimize your need for mouthwash.

Before-and-after porcelain veneers photos from accredited fellow of cosmetic dentistry Brian LeSage, DDS

Protect your porcelain veneers from mouthwash that contains alcohol or hydrogen peroxide

Brian LeSage, DDS, an accredited fellow of esthetic dentistry in Beverly Hills, sponsors this post.

Will Peroxide Mouthwash Damage Porcelain Veneers?

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