Updated: Sep 26
Ever met someone at the night club but noticed that their teeth were glowing in a different color? Is that intentional or is there something wrong with their teeth. You're pretty sure that teeth aren't meant to glow in the dark.
The only possible theory that you can come up with is that their veneers must glow in blacklight! Is that true though?
Table of Contents:
Will your veneers glow in blacklight?
Depending on the type of porcelain that the veneers are made out of, it can glow in blacklight. Not all porcelains will glow in the dark but most of the ones that are specifically used for veneers will most likely glow in blacklight.
At our long island city dental office, we mostly make our veneers with IPS e.max and we confirmed with the manufacturing company that the material will fluoresce to a certain extent. According to Jerry, a technical consultant of Ivoclar, the veneer material is suppose to glow in order to match your natural teeth.
Do teeth glow in blacklight?
Your teeth will naturally glow under blacklight and your veneers will also glow to try to mimic it. Are you wondering why this phenomenon happens?
Your teeth will glow in the dark because they naturally contain phosphor. In fact, your fingernails also contain phosphor so they'll glow as well! Phosphorus is actually the second most abundant mineral in your body, with calcium being the first.
These are the functions of phosphorus.
Helps your nerves and muscles to do their job.
Helps turn fats, carbs, and proteins into energy.
Foods with phosphorous:
Meats and other proteins: beef, chicken, fish, and organ meat like liver
Milk and dairy foods: eggs, cottage cheese, and ice cream
Beans: navy, kidney, soy, pinto, and garbanzo
Grains: bran and wheat germ
Nuts and seeds: almonds, cashews, peanut butter, and sunflower seeds
As you can see, it is a very common mineral and our body is filled with it. The amount of glow that our teeth will have will greatly depend on the amount of this mineral in our teeth. Every person is different so the level of fluorescence will be different as well.
Why does phosphorous glow?
Phosphorous glows in the dark because it goes through an oxidation reaction when it comes into contact with oxygen. What it means is that the phosphor will slowly combust as long as there is oxygen around. If there is no oxygen present, then it will not oxidize nor will it glow in the dark.
Also, only the white phosphorus will glow in the dark. The red type of phosphorus will not glow at all.
Here are pictures of white and red phosphor:
Foods that glow in blacklight
You may be surprised but there are foods that can glow in blacklight as well! Here is a list of them and what color they glow.
Tonic water (bright blue because of the quinine that is an ingredient)
Cooking oil (yellow to greenish-yellow)
Olive oil (orange)
Eggs (shell is dark violet-red, egg white is bright pale yellow)
Honey (golden yellow)
Pineapple (vivid blue fruit, mostly reflected light, outside doesn’t glow)
Ketchup (yellow – not bright)
Milk (pale yellow)
Vanilla ice cream (yellow)
Yogurt (yellow for vanilla, possibly pink for flavored)
Banana (blue ring around spots, some color if you cut the banana)
Sliced lettuce or other greens (dull red from the chlorophyll)
Peppers (dull red)
Can you match the glow of fake teeth in blacklight?
Unfortunately, it will be very difficult to match the fluorescence of your crown to your natural teeth. Most of the dental crowns are made to match under normal ambient lighting and not under blacklight. Also, the amount of phosphor in the porcelain is already fixed. There are techniques to increase or decrease the fluorescence but it would most likely add multiple additional appointments to making your crown.
Alternatively, you can have the phosphor level of your teeth analyzed and then try to imitate it with the crown but that is not very practical. The short answer is that, it is possible but not very practical to make your fake teeth glow the same brightness as your real teeth under blacklight.
You may just have to live with having your tooth glow in the dark. Well, at least no one can really see your face and tell who you are in the dark anyway. Therefore, no one would even know that its you.