Veneers are bonded porcelain or resin shells that immediately upgrade the appearance of your teeth. They help disguise chips, stains, wear and other irregularities to improve and even out your smile. In certain cases, they create a more aligned, symmetrical look and help camouflage minor gaps. Sets are custom made and attached to the front of your teeth.
With proper care, veneers can last for at least a decade. To get the most out of your set, keep the following factors in mind.
Proper Oral Care
Veneers might visually improve your front teeth but slacking on dental care can have a negative effect. As your veneers remain the same white shade, the rest of your teeth can start to discolor from stains and poor hygiene. Similarly, being lax with brushing and flossing may cause gum tissue to pull away and reveal the edges of your veneers. This not only looks unsightly but also increases risks for chipping and detachment.
Similar to other cosmetic and restorative procedures, you need to keep up with your dental routine after receiving a set of veneers to reduce risks for cavities, infection, gum disease and discoloration. This entails:
- Brushing your teeth at least twice per day, preferably after every meal.
- Flossing at least once a day to preserve tooth and gum health.
- Rinsing with an antiseptic, alcohol-free mouthwash.
- Scheduling routine dental checkups to have your teeth and veneers assessed.
Avoid alcohol-based oral care products, as they can reduce the bond veneers have with your teeth. These solutions increase risks for detachment, cracking and staining. Your dentist will also polish your veneers during appointments to lessen dullness or signs of visible wear.
The Right Toothpaste
Use a toothpaste that’s not too abrasive or will eat away at the porcelain or composite. For this reason, gels are preferred for veneers as pastes can have a thicker, grittier consistency. Avoid toothpastes containing baking soda, which can have an abrasive effect. Hydrogen peroxide and other whitening agents can also cause the veneer material to thin and crack.
Be Careful What You Chew
One general tip for living with veneers is to avoid chewing on hard objects like ice cubes and pens. Also stop biting your nails and stay away from bones when eating meat.
Watch What You Eat
Limit or completely eliminate foods that will stain your teeth or increase the risk for veneer damage. Avoid hard foods, including raw apples and carrots, tough cuts of meat, nuts, hard candies and certain chips.
Significantly restrict foods that increase tooth decay or discoloration risks, including sugary and starchy foods, carbonated beverages and anything acidic, including wine, tomatoes, coffee, tea and citrus fruits. Foods with added dyes also have potential to stain veneers.
Along with these habits, decrease your alcohol consumption. Alcoholic drinks can expose your veneers to harsh chemicals and cause them to detach, deteriorate or become more vulnerable to damage.
Protect Your Teeth
If you play a team sport or engage in contact-heavy activities like wrestling or martial arts, an impact to the face can damage veneers, along with the rest of your teeth. In these instances, be sure to have a custom mouthguard created and to wear it during these activities.
Pay Attention to Teeth Grinding
On the subject of protecting your teeth, grinding can place stress on veneers. Also known as bruxism, this can result in wear, chips and other forms of damage. In this instance, get fitted for an occlusal or nighttime guard to preserve your teeth, jaw joints and veneers.
Ready to improve the appearance of your smile with a set of veneers? Contact our Shelton office to make an appointment today.