Porcelain veneers are an excellent cosmetic option for people who wish to improve their smile. A thin shell that is bonded to the surface of a tooth, veneers can change the shape of teeth, improving their length, width, and symmetry. They can also restore a decayed tooth, replace tooth enamel, repair chips, and cover tooth stains. While veneers are quite durable, they do require vigilant maintenance in order to preserve their dramatic beauty. Here are ways to take care of your veneers, ensuring that you get the most enjoyment and benefit possible.
Tips for General Care
Porcelain veneers are less porous than tooth enamel, and so they are more resistant to stains. They are also very durable. This is not to say they are impervious to discoloration and damage, however. There are certain things you should know about caring for your veneers.
- Floss between teeth with veneers diligently to prevent staining. While the porcelain in veneers is less likely to stain than your regular teeth, the bonding used to attach them to your teeth is more susceptible to staining. By flossing extra well between your teeth, you can help protect against staining. You should also avoid eating and drinking items known to stain teeth. Again, this is to prevent the bonding from staining around the veneers. Stay away from dark colored foods, and drinks like tea, coffee, and red wine.
- Avoid using mouthwash. Most mouthwashes contain alcohol, which causes bonding to deteriorate. While occasional alcohol use is okay, you should not use it on a regular basis. If you must use mouthwash, make sure the mouthwash you use contains absolutely no alcohol.
- While porcelain veneers are very strong, you can damage them by chewing on hard items like ice or nails. Be very careful when eating foods like ribs or corn on the cob, as these types of food can contain hidden, brittle materials that can weaken bonding and even fracture your veneers.
- For those who chronically grind their teeth during sleep, consider wearing a night guard to prevent serious damage to your veneers.
- When veneers are created, color and translucency gradients are put into them to allow them to blend better with the natural teeth. Some cheaper veneers don’t have layers of different porcelains but rather all color blending is done with superficial stains baked onto the surface of the veneer. Abrasive toothpastes will wear this stain off and the veneers as they age match less and less.
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Dr Fondriest is a Nationally recognized and highly sought after cosmetic dentist serving clients from throughout the United States