From severe stains and chips to gaps and misshaped teeth, dental veneers can improve your smile. While they are incredibly durable, porcelain veneers are not meant to last forever. On average, you can expect veneers to last between 10 and 15 years or possibly longer.
Of course, proper care of your veneers, underlying teeth, and gums is essential if you want to protect the look and sturdiness of your new smile. Here are a few important aftercare tips to help you maintain your new dental veneers.
1. Brush and Floss as Normal
After dentists remove a thin layer of tooth enamel, they secure the veneers to the teeth. If your underlying teeth and gums are not healthy and strong, the veneers will lack the support they need.
To keep your teeth and gums healthy enough to support your veneers, experts recommend brushing twice a day for two minutes at a time. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth and gums, and brush with gentle, circular motions rather than side to side.
Use a non-abrasive toothpaste and soft-bristled toothbrush that effectively removes food residue and plaque without harming your porcelain veneers.
Flossing at least once per day is also recommended. Regular flossing will remove food and bacteria lingering between your teeth/veneers to help reduce the risk of gum disease.
2. Protect Teeth/Veneers
Brushing and flossing will protect your teeth and veneers, but your smile may require additional protection in certain situations.
Never use your teeth as a tool to bite your nails or open packages/bottles. Using your teeth as a tool can chip or break not only your teeth but also your veneers.
You should also protect your newly restored smile while playing sports or any contact activities.
If you play football, hockey, soccer, or baseball or participate in kickboxing, martial arts, or even dance, consider wearing a mouth guard to protect your veneers. Your dentist can create a custom-fitted mouth guard that you can wear while playing sports or participating in contact activities.
If you are part of the 8 percent of adults who have bruxism, consider wearing a mouth guard, as well, to protect your teeth from the stress that occurs when clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth.
If your bruxism is caused by stress, seek out healthier coping methods, such as counseling, exercise, and even medications.
Placing veneers is a process, meaning a few steps are involved. Your dentist will place temporary veneers on your teeth while the permanent pieces are being fabricated. Unfortunately, you must avoid certain foods while wearing these temporary veneers.
Do not eat sticky foods, such as taffy and candy while wearing the temporary veneers. Also, avoid biting into hard foods, such as apples, pears, and celery. You should also reduce your intake of crunchy foods, such as popcorn, nuts, and potato chips, since these foods break off into smaller pieces that can damage and stick to the temporary veneers.
3. Visit the Dentist for Checkups
After a week of wearing your permanent veneers, visit your dentist for a routine checkup. This visit is important because it allows your dentist to evaluate the veneers’ placement and determine if your teeth and gums are adjusting effectively.
After this initial evaluation, you should continue visiting your dentist for checkups to ensure your underlying oral health is in good condition. Most experts recommend regular checkups every six months.
With proper care, protection, and regular dental checkups, veneers can be a great investment for your smile. For more information about dental veneers, contact Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA. We offer a wide range of cosmetic dentistry and general dentistry services.