Porcelain veneers are a wonderful way to create a beautiful, flawless smile. Though porcelain veneers are extremely durable, you will need to take care of them to make them last as long as possible. Denver cosmetic dentist David Redford offers these tips for the aftercare of your porcelain veneers.
Caring for Your Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers will not last a lifetime and, for most people, may need to be replaced after 10 to 15 years. You can help increase the lifespan of your porcelain veneers through proper care and maintenance. Practicing the following tips will greatly help in keeping your porcelain veneers looking and functioning their best.
- Practice proper oral hygiene: Practicing good oral hygiene is most important to prolonging the life of your porcelain veneers and maintaining the overall health of your mouth. Porcelain veneers will not decay but veneers leave areas of the tooth exposed; these areas of exposed tooth are still susceptible to decay. Brushing twice a day and flossing once a day is key to increasing the lifespan of your veneers.
- Use a soft toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste: Abrasive toothpastes and hard bristled toothbrushes can damage the polish on your veneers. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste without harsh abrasives.
- Avoid gum disease: Gum disease results in gum inflammation and may even cause the gums to recede. Receding gums may expose the top edge of the veneer, marring the appearance of your smile. Gum disease is avoided by practicing proper oral hygiene and regularly seeing your dentist.
- Do not skip your six-month check-up: Regular dental check-ups not only help keep your teeth and gums healthy, but also allow your dentist to assess your porcelain veneers and repair any issues that could damage them.
Avoid Developing Bad Habits
Properly caring for your porcelain veneers also includes avoiding bad habits that can be damaging to your veneers. Here are some things to avoid after getting porcelain veneers:
- Do not chew on hard objects: Porcelain veneers are very durable, however, they are not as strong as your natural teeth. Avoid chewing on hard objects like pens, ice, and even your nails. Hard items can cause your veneers to chip.
- Do not grind or clench your teeth: Teeth grinding and clenching should be stopped whether you have porcelain veneers or not. Teeth grinding wears down the teeth and will damage porcelain veneers. If you grind or clench your teeth, your dentist can fit you with a night guard to protect your teeth while you sleep (when most teeth grinding and clenching occurs).
- Avoid foods and drinks that may stain your teeth: Though porcelain veneers are rather stain resistant, the adhesive used to bond the veneers to the teeth is not resistant to staining. This may result in the edges of your veneers appearing yellowed or darkened. Try to avoid foods and drinks that may stain your teeth. When you do drink coffee or sodas, use a straw to minimize contact with your teeth.
- Do not smoke: Smoking is another cause of discoloration along the edge of porcelain veneers. Besides the overall health benefits of quitting, smoking should be avoided to keep your veneers looking their best.