What are dental veneers?
Porcelain dental veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that cover imperfections to change their overall appearance. They can change the shape, size, length, and color of your teeth. Patients who have discoloured, broken, chipped, or gapped teeth may find that they are more confident in their smiles after treatment.
Even though porcelain veneers are very durable, if you want them to last for a long time, then you need to make sure they are properly cared for. They have the potential to last 10-15 years or even longer if they are well maintained. Here are some tips to help you properly care for and maintain your porcelain veneers.
How to Take Care of Your Veneers
Taking care of your veneers is essential if you want them to last. While it pays to be extra mindful about certain things, no special care is required to keep your veneers in good shape. In fact, caring for your veneers is simple when you follow these tips.
Practice good oral hygiene.
If you already have a solid dental hygiene routine, you probably won’t need to change it to care for your veneers. You just need to brush, flush, and rinse:
- Brush - Use a non-abrasive toothpaste and either a manual or electric toothbrush to brush your teeth at least twice a day; ideally, you should brush after every meal.
- Floss - Floss at least once a day to remove particles caught between teeth and to protect the health of your teeth, veneers, and gums. It’s best to floss after every meal.
- Rinse - Swirl some antiseptic mouthwash around your mouth once or twice a day to rinse it. Choose an alcohol-free mouthwash, because excessive exposure to alcohol can cause the adhesive agents to soften. While this softening wouldn’t cause the veneers to fall off, it might make them more susceptible to staining and wear.
Avoid grinding your teeth.
Bruxism refers to grinding or clenching your teeth while sleeping, and it’s a bad habit for patients with veneers because it puts a lot of stress on them. It’s also bad for your teeth and jaw joints, so if you suspect that you grind your teeth, speak with your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist can fit you for a nighttime bite guard. Wearing this device while you sleep will protect your veneers from damage.
Don't chew items that will damage your teeth.
Veneers are relatively durable, but they can chip and break. While normal foods shouldn’t present a problem, it’s best to avoid chewing on excessively hard materials like pens, your fingernails, ice, and bones.
Protect your smile from damage.
Physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but participating in basketball, football, wrestling, and other contact sports can endanger the health of your new smile. To protect your veneers and your natural teeth from getting damaged you should speak to your dentist regarding a sports mouthguard.
Be mindful of stains.
Just like your natural teeth, veneers can get stained, so it’s a good idea to limit foods that are known to cause discoloration, like coffee, red wine, dark sodas, tea, curry, and berries. Smoking is another habit that can lead to stains, so if you smoke, you may want to consider quitting; not only will it improve your overall health, but it will also help keep your veneers white and bright.
Routinely visit your dentist.
Routine dental checkups are a must for people who want healthy teeth. Making it a point to see your dentist roughly every six months will help to protect both your teeth and your veneers by ensuring that any potential problems are spotted quickly and treated before they become bigger concerns. In addition, your dentist or dental hygienist will use professional equipment to polish your veneers and preserve their pearly-white gleam.