Porcelain veneers are thin sheets of porcelain that are custom shaped to fit onto the tooth for the purpose of changing its color, shape or size. Veneers can help hide chips, discoloration, cracks, breaks or uneven shape, transforming an imperfect smile into a masterpiece. Though durable, due to their material and the fact that veneers are not your natural teeth, you must treat them a bit differently than you would a natural tooth.
Whether you’ve just gotten veneers, are considering veneers or have had them for a while, here are some tips you can start using immediately to ensure your veneers last long and look as beautiful as the day they are applied.
Caring for Your Veneers
Caring for veneers is a lot easier than you might think. Veneers can be brushed and flossed just like your natural teeth, with a few differences. While veneers don’t stain like your natural teeth (they’re not porous like tooth enamel), they can still develop stains over time, especially around the edges where the veneers meet the teeth. This can usually be fixed at your dental exam, but the better you brush, the less likely this is to occur. The American Dental Association recommends non-abrasive toothpaste when cleaning veneers.
As for flossing, you can still floss with veneers; however, as durable as veneers are, they are not stronger than your natural teeth, so be sure to floss gently. Dr. George will show you how to floss with your new veneers to minimize the risk of breaking them.
What to Eat
For the most part you should still be able to eat the same foods with your veneers as you did with your natural teeth, but remember they are not as strong as your natural teeth and can still break. They can also fall off if you aren’t careful, so watch what you eat. Don’t crunch ice with them (even the “good ice”), don’t use them to open packages, and consider changing how you eat with them, too. For example, don’t give up eating apples, but instead of taking a big bite out of it, cut it into smaller slices.
Be a Quitter
If you smoke, veneers can restore the beautiful white teeth you had prior to smoking, but if you don’t quit before getting veneers, smoking can take years off the life of your veneers. Worse yet, the nicotine in cigarettes CAN stain your veneers yellow, which kind of defeats the purpose of having them.
For best results, quit smoking before you get your veneers attached.
An occasional glass of alcohol isn’t going to do too much damage to your veneers, but over time, it can weaken the material that adheres the veneer to your teeth. When drinking alcohol, alternate with sips of water, and don’t forget to brush your teeth when you’re done!
Guard Them with Your Life
OK, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but you should definitely guard your new veneers with a mouth guard if you grind your teeth or play sports. It’s recommended that you address the grinding before you get veneers, but if you don’t, or you begin grinding your teeth after you’ve gotten veneers, speak to Dr. George about your options.
To schedule a consultation for veneers or full-mouth reconstruction, please give Dr. George’s office a call at 724-220-2347.