Your smile is important and one of the best ways to brighten it up is with porcelain veneers. Taking care of your new veneers will keep them looking their best and they can last for 10 years or more if you practice these important tips for proper maintenance.
1. Brush Regularly
Practice the same routines for oral hygiene as you normally would even though it’s true that porcelain won’t decay. But remember, your veneers are still attached to your actual teeth and they are prone to decay if you don’t brush properly and regularly. We recommend brushing twice a day and don’t forget to floss. There might be some exposed portions of the tooth behind the veneer and that’s where decay can start to take root. Be sure to use a soft bristle toothbrush, otherwise you could impair the surface polish of the veneer.
2. Keep Hard Objects Away
Your veneers are made of porcelain and while they are designed and built to be resilient, they can chip if you chew on ice, hard candy, or other items that require a great amount of bite force. Another good rule of thumb is to avoid biting into objects that you can cut down into easier bite size portions. This includes apples, peaches, celery sticks, and similar food items that could cause resistance.
3. Don’t Grind Your Teeth
Bruxism or teeth grinding can be a serious dental problem and if it goes untreated can lead to damage to your teeth and misalignment of your jaw at the joint. Many patients come in to our office complaining of joint pain from clenching and scraping while they sleep. If you wake up with pain in the jaw or headaches, you could be grinding your teeth at night and this can cause severe permanent damage to the veneer. If you think you may have this problem, be sure to have it looked at as quickly as you can to avoid stripping the polish or cracking the porcelain.
4. Watch Out for Stains
Many of the foods and beverages we consume on a daily basis can already stain your teeth but consuming them with veneers is even more likely to result in discoloration. So try to avoid eating and drinking beets, certain berries, colas, red wine, coffee and tea. If you must enjoy some of these items, use a straw to sip these liquids past your veneers and chew carefully and quickly. Rinse them after. Avoid smoking cigarettes or cigars and stay away from chewing tobacco. All of these things can cause quick discoloration of the porcelain.