If you are one of the many people that have had veneers placed on your teeth, then it is important to know how to care for them. Veneers can last for years with proper care, but if they are not taken care of properly, they may discolor or chip. This article will answer some key questions about dental veneers that we regularly hear from our clients. We will start by detailing what dental veneers are, how they are placed on your teeth, what to consider when deciding to get dental veneers, and how to care for them once they are on your teeth.
Let’s dive in.
What are Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers are thin, custom-made, permanently bonded coverings placed over the front visible surfaces of the tooth. They look like natural teeth and they’re usually made of porcelain. Veneers are a long-term fix for cracked or discolored teeth that’ll greatly increase your confidence through an enhanced smile.
How Dental Veneers are Placed on Your Teeth
The veneer attachment procedure usually requires grinding down your tooth and maybe even removing part of it. This reduction depends on your oral health and the number of teeth you need. A dentist can have a wax model made to show you how your veneers will look if you need several of them.
What to Consider
The main things to consider before you get dental veneers are cost, length of time of the installation process, and the appearance and longevity of the veneers. You also want to discuss the best solution for you with your dentist.
Not only can dental veneers help correct stained, chipped, or worn teeth but they can also help teeth that are irregular or badly stained. You can get just one veneer to cover a broken or chipped tooth or you can get between eight to ten veneers for a more even result.
How to Care for Your Veneers
Usually, a dental veneer lasts between 10 and 15 years but, as with any medical treatment, success and long-term stability are only guaranteed if you take proper care of them. It’s important to remember that veneers, although resistant, are thin pieces attached to your teeth and have a certain degree of fragility. Therefore, they require specific care. Don’t worry, this isn’t as hard as taking care of braces, all you have to do is keep the following in mind.
1. Skip Hard or Sticky Foods
As we stated above, veneers are somewhat resistant but can still chip and break. Thus, you can chew most regular foods with them but chewing on hard or sticky things like ice, and cracking nut shells can peel off or even break your veneers. Be extra careful when eating this type of food and try to cut it into pieces beforehand.
Likewise, biting your fingernails or other hard objects such as pens, or using your teeth as a tool to open things, can damage your new veneers.
2. Pay Attention to Your Oral Hygiene
Daily maintenance is essential to keep dental veneers clean. Brushing after every meal is crucial to take care of your oral health and maintain your good looks. After brushing, don’t forget to floss and rinse your mouth with mouthwash at least once a day.
Thin enamel veneers are more sensitive than natural teeth and are prone to scratching so avoid brushes with hard bristles. Instead, use a regular soft-bristled or electric toothbrush. This is because the pressure exerted in the latter is better controlled than manual brushing and reduces pressure on the gums.
You also want to use non-abrasive toothpaste. Ask your dentist to recommend one that’s formulated for veneers. In general, avoid abrasive formulas containing charcoal, baking soda, or hydrogen peroxide. Furthermore, use gentle strokes when brushing and flossing, and keep in mind that aggressive, forceful movements can chip or damage your veneers.
Use an alcohol-free mouthwash every time you brush. Alcohol can soften bonding compounds and contribute to premature veneer degradation. So look for an alcohol-free mouthwash.
A quality antiseptic mouthwash can destroy plaque, prevent gum disease, and help you keep your veneers looking white as the day you got them.
3. Avoid Foods That Stain Your Teeth
Veneers don’t stain as easily as your natural tooth enamel. However, surface stains often develop after prolonged exposure to foods that spoil the color of your teeth due to their components. The best way to prevent stains is to limit substances that might cause discoloration such as coffee, dark chocolate, red wine, soft drinks, soy sauce, and even curry.
Smoking is as bad for your health as it is for your teeth and your veneers. Smoking can stain the composite that attaches your porcelain veneer to your teeth and you could end up with brownish edges. Tobacco stains not only spoil your good looks, they also jeopardize the durability of your new dental pieces.
When it comes to alcohol, make sure to consume your favorite hard beverage in moderation. The acid in alcohol won’t affect the bonding material on your veneer when consumed in moderation but large amounts of it will dissolve the bonding material that holds your veneers to your teeth and lead to breakage.
4. Watch Out for Clenching and Grinding and Invest in a Mouthguard to Protect Your Smile
People who involuntarily clench or grind their teeth are at higher risk of wearing them down and the same goes for porcelain veneers. Consider using a mouthguard to protect them as it decreases your jaw tension. Talk to your dentist for advice and to prescribe a nighttime bite guard to wear while you sleep.
You should always wear a mouthguard whenever you play contact sports or engage in any activity that could potentially damage your teeth. Wearing a mouth guard also protects your teeth from fractures, tooth loss and displacement, soft tissue injuries, concussions, and jaw fractures.
5. Visit Your Dentist Regularly
The benefits of regular dental visits go far beyond healthy teeth and a beautiful smile. Regular check-ups are important for overall health, as the condition of your mouth has an impact on many other parts of your body – from your digestive system to your immune system.
You may make an effort to maintain proper oral hygiene but this isn’t always enough to keep your mouth in good condition. Many problematic dental conditions are asymptomatic in their initial stages and visiting the dentist regularly is the only way to detect them before they progress.
Prevention is essential for healthy teeth so routine dental checkups are a must. We recommend visiting your dentist every 6 to 12 months for a professional cleaning and to check your dental veneers and oral health.
Austin Cosmetics – Your Go-To Resource for Dental Veneers
Dental veneers are a quick and effective solution to improve your smile and whiten your teeth and they last more than a century when properly cared for. If you are on the fence about having veneers installed on your teeth, or if you have any questions about the process, Austin Cosmetics is here to help. We are one of the most preferred dental cosmetic practices in the world, with clients flying into Austin from across the globe to correct and brighten their smile. We have serviced the smiles of some of the most famous celebrities and influencers and we look forward to servicing you and your smile. Schedule an appointment today to get started.