Porcelain dental veneers are an excellent way of improving the appearance of teeth. They effectively hide surface stains, mask irregularities, and improve the appearance of cracked, stained or chipped teeth.
Veneers blend in seamlessly, looking completely natural. In fact, caring for your veneers is quite similar to caring for natural teeth. But there is a risk of the veneer fracturing or the bond weakening. By following the care instructions below, you can avoid these risks and enjoy a brilliant and long lasting smile.
Brush with a soft toothbrush twice a day and floss once a day. Abrasive toothbrushes can damage the shells. Avoid mouthwashes that are high in alcohol as it can soften bonding and slowly weaken the bond of porcelain.
Certain kinds of fluoride can also damage the porcelain shell. Use toothpaste that contains sodium fluoride rather than stannous fluoride or acidulated phosphate fluoride, which can etch the surface after repeated use.
Use regular “paste” toothpaste like Colgate, Oral B etc. rather than “gel” pastes. Whitening or smoker’s toothpaste should also be avoided as they are quite abrasive.
Food and Drink
Like your natural teeth, porcelain veneers can be slowly degraded by acidic foods and drink, even staining over time. Common causes include tobacco, coffee, tea, curry, colas, red wine, soy sauce, blueberries and other high colour food and drinks. Baking soda also has an abrasive effect on porcelain veneers.
Try to keep these stains at a minimum, rinse your mouth after consuming these products. You can use non-alcoholic mouthwash or neutrafluor, a sodium fluoride rinse that can be used at home.
Chewing and Biting
Porcelain veneers can fracture if you bite on very hard or brittle foods or other items. To minimise this risk, avoid biting down on hard foods with your front teeth and focus on chewing mainly with your back teeth. In most cases, veneers handle stress in a similar way to natural teeth. Keep this in mind before biting into things like bones, hard candy, nuts or hard bread.
Habits like opening packages with teeth, chewing ice, biting nails etc. should also be avoided. All of these put unnecessary stress on the material as well as your natural teeth. If you are prone to grinding or clenching your teeth, your dentist will provide you with a custom made night splint or mouth guard. Wear these in your sleep to avoid damaging your veneers.
What If You Damage Your Veneers?
If a chip or fracture does occur, it might only need a simple renewal using bonding composite. This could be done in one short appointment with a fee similar to a front tooth restoration. More significant fractures might need a replacement veneer.
Your porcelain veneers should last a lifetime as long as you take care of them. Adhere to the above recommendations and ensure you visit your dentist every six months for a check-up and professional cleaning.
If you want to achieve a brilliant smile with porcelain veneers, get in touch with our team. City Central Dental is Adelaide’s team of experienced cosmetic dentists. We can help you achieve a healthy and vibrant smile. Book an appointment today by calling 08 8231 9922 or contact us online.