Veneers function as a cover for the front of your teeth, helping you achieve the desired aesthetic results. On average, veneers last about 10 years before needing to be replaced. However, there are steps you can take to extend that time to up to 20 years. Learn what you should and shouldn’t do when caring for your veneers.
Stay Away From Tobacco Products
After getting porcelain veneers, dentists recommend you stop smoking or chewing tobacco. The veneers themselves are resistant to staining, but the composite that attaches the veneer to your tooth can start showing discoloration. This leads to brown edges around your teeth.
Smoking affects your oral health as well. It can lead to more plaque because it encourages the growth of bacteria, causing cavities and putting your gums at risk of developing gum disease. All of these problems will require the removal of the veneers so that you can receive the necessary treatment, shortening their lifespan.
Avoid Using Your Teeth as Tools
Attempting to open things with your mouth is bad enough for your natural teeth, but it is devastating for your veneers. The pressure will likely crack or chip the veneers, forcing you to get new ones to keep your pristine smile.
You also want to avoid chewing on the following items:
- Pen caps
- Hard candy
These items can chip the veneers and dislodge them, requiring you to go back to your dentist for a new installation.
Protect Veneers From Bruxism
If you tend to grind your teeth at night, you’re putting a lot of pressure on your teeth and your veneers. During the day, you can train yourself to stop this habit, but during the night, you’ll want to turn to mouthguards.
Mouthguards are oral devices that cover your teeth and can be customized to fit your mouth so that they are comfortable to wear. They prevent your teeth from grinding against each other, helping extend your veneers’ lifespan.
Choose the Right Tools
Carefully select the oral hygiene tools you use daily. Opt for soft-bristled brushes and non-abrasive toothpaste options to avoid wearing down the porcelain veneers.
Although flossing is a good idea, even with veneers, you want to be gentle when you do so with regular floss. For some people, using a water flosser is a better option. This specialized tool sprays a powerful but safe stream of water through a nozzle, which you can aim between your teeth and around your gums.
Get Regular Checkups
Regularly visiting your dentist is one of the most important things you can do to prolong the lifespan of your veneers. Your dentist will be able to catch any signs of problems early on and offer the right advice to manage the issue.
Aside from regular checkups, you want to get professional cleanings. Professional cleaning is much more thorough than you can do at home, helping remove any food particles that attract bacteria while protecting the veneers.
For most people, scheduling a visit every six months is the right strategy.
Avoid Dark-Colored Beverages and Foods
Just as tobacco can stain the composite that holds a veneer to your tooth, so can dark-colored foods and beverages. Instead of regular tea, stick to green or herbal teas, which do not leave stains.
Coffee can dull the veneers over time, so you want to consume it in moderation. The same applies to red wine. Some foods that can be risky include berries and even pasta sauce.
If you indulge in these substances, rinse your mouth or brush your teeth when you are finished to minimize the potential damage.
Helping Your Veneers Last
You want to think of your veneers like your natural teeth. They can chip and break if you put too much pressure on them, and they can stop looking as bright as you want them to if you smoke or drink a lot of coffee.
By learning about what can harm them, you can keep them looking and functioning at their best for years to come. As a bonus, all things that protect veneers also protect your natural teeth.
If you have veneers or are considering getting them, Dr. Brett Langston can help at Dental Implant & Aesthetic Specialists. By turning to the right person for veneer installation and regular checkups, you can get and maintain the kind of smile you have always wanted.
Contact Dr. Brett Langston today to schedule a consultation for veneers.