3 Tips To Care For Your Porcelain Veneers

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.

Are Dental Veneers Right For You? | Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA

Are Dental Veneers Right for You?

Dental veneers are an excellent choice for many patients, especially those who are considering improving how their teeth look. Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain or composite resin that are placed on top of tooth enamel, providing a natural appearance for your teeth.

The process of installing dental veneers is straightforward. First, the doctor removes enamel from the teeth. After your teeth are polished and cleaned, the dentist applies veneers over them. Then he or she cements the pieces in place.

It sounds simple enough, but dental veneers may not be for everybody. If you have questions about dental veneers, you should speak with your dentist as soon as possible. You may be a candidate for the dental procedure.

These are some ways you can determine if veneers might work for you.

You Have Tooth Discoloration

Tooth discoloration is not always treated easily with over-the-counter whitening products. Veneers can provide you with a truly distinct look if you are tired of yellow or brown stains. The veneers are white and look perfectly natural in your mouth. The dentist can adjust the color of your teeth to ensure that they do not stand out.

Tooth discoloration is commonly associated with drinking staining beverages, which include wine, tea, coffee and soda. Consider scaling back on these drinks after you have veneers installed to prevent future staining.

You Have Worn-Down Teeth

Teeth tend to wear down with age and use, and this fact is especially true if you grind or clench your teeth a lot. This habit tends to wear down your teeth, and over time the results can be quite dramatic.

Not only do veneers restore the look of your teeth, but they also improve the function by giving your teeth more stability while you are eating. You have much more freedom regarding the foods that you choose to eat.

You Have Cracked or Broken Teeth

Veneers are great for covering cracks, chips and breaks often caused by sports-related injuries. Even if just a few teeth are chipped or cracked, your dentist can provide a partial veneer. This dental product gives your smile a look of continuity and symmetry.

You Have Crowded or Spaced-Out Teeth

Whether your teeth are too close together or too far apart, veneers may be a great help. The goal of your dentist will be to help you achieve a straight smile in which all your teeth are spaced out evenly so that you are proud of your smile.

You Are Unhappy With Your Smile

Ultimately, any time you are not happy with the look and feel of your teeth, you should talk to your dentist. For example, if you don’t like the shape of your teeth, veneers can help you get the smile you want. But whether or not veneers are an option, cosmetic dentists can help you find a solution that meets your needs.

You Are Committed to Good Oral Hygiene

In order for your dentist to agree to install veneers, he or she must trust that you are dedicated to good oral hygiene. A dentist may not want to install veneers if you do not have a strong dental hygiene regimen. Veneers may not be your real teeth, but they still require regular maintenance.

Discuss your goals for the future of your teeth and what you hope to achieve with your dentist to see what may be in store for your smile. Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA offers a wide range of dental services that make your teeth look and feel great. We offer restorative and cosmetic work, all provided with a gentle touch. Call today to book your appointment.

How Can Your5 Dentist Eliminate A Gap Between Your Teeth?

If you have a gap between two of your teeth—especially between your two front teeth—you may be self-conscious about your appearance. A large gap may even keep you from smiling or speaking with confidence.

Known as a diastema, a space between the teeth can appear if your teeth are too small or narrow for your jaw or if they’re misaligned when they emerge during childhood. Diastemas can also form due to thumb-sucking and late-stage gum disease. Regardless of the cause, you don’t have to go on living with your gap-toothed smile. There are several methods your dentist can use to close the gap.

Braces

If your teeth are properly sized but are simply misaligned in your jaw, your dentist will likely recommend braces. Traditional braces slowly shift the teeth into position. Since your moving one tooth affects the position of the rest of the teeth in your mouth, you’ll typically need to wear a full set of braces even if only two teeth are misaligned.

Braces can cause mild discomfort, but it can typically be controlled with over-the-counter pain relievers. Most people must wear braces for between 18 and 24 months, but if your teeth are only slightly misaligned, you may not need to wear them quite this long.

If the gap between your teeth formed due to late-stage periodontal disease that loosened your teeth and allowed them to shift, you must have the periodontal disease treated before the gap can be closed. Treatments may include gum grafts, a deep-cleaning method known as root scaling, and use of antibiotics. Once your gums are healthy again, your dentist can use braces to push your teeth back into their original positions, closing the gap.

Dental Bonding

If your teeth are properly placed in your jaw but are too narrow or too small, your dentist may recommend a procedure called dental bonding to make them appear larger, essentially closing the gap between them. Dental bonding is quite straight forward and painless. The process is similar to having a cavity filled and can be completed in one office visit.

When you have your teeth bonded, your dentist will begin by using a special file to roughen up the edges of your teeth. Then, he or she will apply a tooth-colored resin to the surface of the tooth, molding it into shape to close the gap and widen your tooth. After a special UV light is used to cure the resin, it is filed down and shaped to have a natural appearance.

The materials used for dental bonding are porous and do stain, so you’ll want to avoid drinking coffee and red wine regularly. You may need to have the resin replaced or repaired in the future if it chips, which becomes more likely with age.

Porcelain Veneers

If there’s not only a gap between your front teeth but also chips, discoloration, or irregularly shaping, you may wish to have your teeth covered with veneers. These are thin layers of porcelain that are fitted over the front of your teeth to camouflage the teeth behind them.

Unlike the materials used for dental bonding, veneers are stain-resistant. They can be made to look natural or brighter white, depending on your preference. Their primary downfall is that they’re generally more expensive than dental bonding. Plus, since a layer of enamel has to be removed to put veneers into place, you must keep them on for life after you commit to them.

Dental veneers are usually applied across two appointments. In the first appointment, your teeth are prepared and a mold is made. In the second appointment, the specially made veneers are cemented to your teeth.

If you have a gap between two of your teeth, don’t continue to hide your smile. Get in touch with Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDA, PA to discuss your diastema and your personal treatment options.

Dentures Or Dental Implants? The Right Tooth Replacement Options For You

Adult tooth loss can be frustrating, inconvenient, and even embarrassing. However, if you have missing teeth, you are not alone. The American College of Prosthodontists reports that 178 million adults in the United States have at least one missing tooth, while an estimated 40 million have lost all their teeth.

Luckily, modern dental technologies allow dentists to offer you multiple options for tooth replacement so you can pick the right technique for your smile. In this blog, we compare characteristics of dentures and dental implants to give you a better idea of which solution you may prefer.

Appearance

Some patients assume that dental implants offer a better-looking smile, but this idea doesn’t always hold true. While dental implants can appear almost identical to the color and shape of your other teeth, modern dentures look more natural than ever before. Additionally, dentures do more to reduce the “collapsed” look of the cheek and chin found in some patients with many missing teeth than dental implants do.

Both options can fill the gap of a missing tooth and offer an aesthetically pleasing replacement.

Compatibility

Often, the choice between dentures and dental implants comes down to the health of your jaw bone and oral tissues. Dentures can accommodate a much wider range of oral health symptoms and can even help conceal some of the issues that might disqualify a patient from receiving dental implants.

In order to be a candidate for dental implants, you must have adequate jaw bone density for each implant to anchor to. You must also exhibit good general health because the implant process can take a significant amount of time and may expose individuals with weak immune systems to a high risk of infection.

Dentures, on the other hand, require healthy gum tissues but do not necessarily need jaw bone strength to be fitted and worn comfortably.

Cost

When you invest in tooth replacement, you’re safeguarding your ability to smile, eat, and speak normally. Any tooth replacement option comes at a cost. The primary difference between the cost of dentures and dental implants is that more insurance companies are willing to cover most or all of the cost of dentures.

While some insurance companies will cover a portion of the cost for dental implants, many do not cover any of the expense. Because of this difference in coverage, dentures are often a more cost-effective option for patients with extensive tooth loss and implants may be more affordable for individuals with only one or two missing teeth.

Durability

When it comes to durability, dental implants last longer. With proper care, high-quality implants can last for the rest of your life. Even if the visible crown portion of the implant becomes damaged, it’s unlikely that your dentist will ever need to do work on the anchor portion of the implant.

Dentures generally last between five and eight years. Often, dentures need replacement, not because of the damage the appliance sustains, but rather due to changes in the shape and health of the patient’s oral tissues.

Functionality

Typically, dental implants provide a more secure eating surface than dentures do. Because implants are placed permanently, they shift less often and less dramatically than dentures can.

However, patients with high-quality dentures can use them for most of the activities that they would use natural teeth for. Patients may need to try multiple adhesives or have the fit of their dentures adjusted to improve functionality while they wear dentures.

In both cases, patients should be wary of particularly hard or sticky foods. These foods could damage the surface of the false teeth or encourage tooth decay in the patient’s remaining natural teeth.

Scalability

As discussed in the cost section, dentures are often preferred for patients with many missing teeth and dental implants for individuals who are only missing a few. However, both tooth replacement options can be used to replace any number of missing teeth.

If you prefer dentures but only have one or two gaps, you’ll be fitted with a partial denture. Partial dentures consist of high-quality false teeth attached to a base that fits over the roof or floor of the mouth. Partial dentures are similar to retainers used by orthodontists to keep teeth aligned after treatment with braces.

If you prefer dental implants and have a large amount of tooth loss, the initial process may take longer, but the final result is essentially the same as placing a single dental implant.

As you consider your tooth replacement options, consult with your dentist. While you can identify some factors in this decision, you’ll need an oral health care professional’s insight to determine whether you’re a good candidate for your chosen tooth replacement option.

Schedule an appointment at the practice of Dr. Kenneth Schweizer today to talk about how dentures or dental implants could restore your smile.