Porcelain veneers are a popular choice for those looking to regain confidence in their smile and fix any issues with their bite. However, just like real teeth, veneers need to be cared for in order to maintain their appearance and functionality. When properly kept up, a single set of porcelain veneers can last 10 to 15 years, providing you with a beautiful, white smile for over a decade.
If you’ve made the choice to implant porcelain dental veneers, you’ll most likely want to ensure that they last as long as possible so your investment won’t go to waste. Here are 5 tips for proper care and maintenance of porcelain veneers.
- Continue to brush as normal. One of the greatest upsides to veneers is that they aren’t affected by decay the same way that real teeth are. However, there are real teeth underneath your veneers, and their discoloration and decay can affect the appearance of the veneer caps. Additionally, gum disease can still develop whether you have veneers or not. This is why it’s important to brush your veneers as you would your real teeth.
- Floss carefully. You should continue to floss normally in order to prevent decay of the teeth under your veneers and to avoid gum disease. However, flossing with too much force could cause the veneers to crack or chip. Your dentist will be able to provide proper flossing techniques to avoid any damage to your veneers.
- Avoid tooth-staining substances. Most people know that they should generally avoid things like coffee, tea, wine, and tobacco products in order to maintain good dental health and hygiene. These products can cause serious tooth decay, staining, and gum disease in some cases. If you have veneers, you should continue to avoid these substances, as they can stain the porcelain. If you do consume these products, try to brush your teeth or rinse with water or mouthwash soon after.
- Incorporate a night guard into your routine. Night guards are typically used by dental patients who tend to grind their teeth while they sleep, causing erosion over time and making teeth more susceptible to breakage. Even if you don’t have a preexisting grinding problem, a night guard could help to keep your veneers intact longer, preventing any accidental chipping or unnecessary friction while you’re asleep (with the added bonus of grinding protection for your other teeth). If you participate in contact sports, you may want to consider a mouth guard for daytime wear as well in order to avoid any cracks or chips to your veneers during gameplay.
- Use a whitening toothpaste. Many people make the choice to implant porcelain veneers because they experience difficulty keeping their teeth white. While veneers are not susceptible to the same decaying properties as natural teeth, they can still be stained and discolored by the same substances. That’s why you shouldn’t throw out your teeth-whitening products just because you now have porcelain veneers. Non-abrasive whitening toothpaste, particularly toothpastes that contain natural whitening substances such as baking soda, can keep your veneers looking and feeling brand-new for many years.