Tips to Care for Your Dental Veneers
What are Veneers?
Veneers are thin tooth-like shells applied on the front of teeth to change the appearance of your smile. You can use them to change the size, length, shape and color of teeth in pursuit of what you consider to be the perfect smile. They are often a great choice for patients wishing to cover multiple flaws in their teeth. They can help with discoloration, broken/chipped teeth or even to close gaps between teeth.
The biggest advantage of veneers is that they are very durable, lasting between 10 to 15 years if cared for properly. To help you get absolute value if you have veneers, here are some care and maintenance tips from our dentist in Fairfax, VA
at Drummond Dental Care.
- Practice Proper Daily Oral Hygiene
You should continue to brush, floss and rinse daily, just as you would with natural teeth. even with veneers, your teeth are still at risk of diseases that develop due to poor oral hygiene. Make sure to brush at least twice every day, or ideally after every meal. Also floss once a day to help get rid of any food particles that are stuck between your teeth, where the tooth brush bristles cannot reach. When flossing you should be careful so as not to destroy the veneers. A dentist near you can teach you how to floss without pressure on the veneers that may result to chips or cracks.
Your dentist may also recommend the use of an alcohol-free mouthwash to kill any harmful bacteria in the mouth. Do not use a mouthwash containing alcohol as it tends to soften the bonding agent used in veneers and also makes the veneers more vulnerable to staining.
Some toothpaste brands may be too abrasive for your veneers, hence causing damage. So, take note on the ingredients used in the toothpaste to prevent damage. Substances like hydrogen peroxide and sodium bicarbonate may seem safe but the truth is that the former is known to eat away the veneer’s surface while the latter has a gritty texture that strips the veneers of their color and sheen. It is often safer to use gel toothpaste over those in the form of pastes as they usually contain the above ingredients. Your dentist can help you identify the best toothpaste that will care for both your teeth and veneers while offering the needed protection.
- Limit the Intake of Staining Foods and Drinks
Although porcelain veneers are known to be quite effective at keeping off stains, the bonding material used lacks that ability. This means that the edges of your veneers can begin to darken or turn yellow if no precaution is taken. Therefore, for aesthetics, dentist recommend that you try and avoid foods known to cause staining and discoloration such as coffee, soda and wine. You can also use a straw when consuming these drinks to minimize contact with your teeth and veneers.
Also be wary of foods that contain too much sugar and acid as they are the main culprits behind tooth decay, which is bad for veneers.
Cigarettes and tobacco products are bad for your overall health and they also affect the longevity of veneers. These substances contain nicotine and tar which oxidizes to form yellow stains and discoloration marks on your veneers.
- Avoid Teeth Grinding and Clenching
Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism and clenching are uncontrollable habits in some people which can over time wear down the veneers. Have your dentist address this issue so that you can protect your veneers. Treatment may include getting custom splints or mouthguards, taking muscle relaxants or undergoing treatment for anxiety or stress, if that is the underlying trigger.
Our emergency dentist in Fairfax
also recommends use of mouthguards when participating in high impact activities like boxing and wrestling. They not only protect your veneers but also offer protection to your natural teeth.
- Do Not Use Your Teeth as Tools
You should not use your teeth to open bottles or tear items, especially when you have veneers. Also avoiding biting on hard foods like sugarcane or meat cuts with bones. Any extreme pressure can cause the veneers to break or chip. Habits like biting fingernails or chewing pains should also be avoided.
- Go for Regular Dental-Check-Ups
Finally, the only sure way to know if your veneers are doing alright is to have a dentist regularly check you. This way, any problems or abnormalities are detected early and the correct treatment is administered.