Caring for your veneers will not only keep your smile radiant but also make them worth the money you invested in them. Here’s how you do that.
How to Take Care of Veneers: The Essentials
So, you finally got your veneers. That’s great, but now you have to keep that million-dollar smile sparkly. After all, veneers are quite the investment (well over $2,000 apiece in some cases). It would be a real waste if you failed to take care of them properly.
Luckily, caring for veneers is relatively straightforward. In fact, it’s a lot like maintaining your natural teeth. There are a few points you should be aware of, though, and that’s what we’re going to cover today.
Be Mindful of Your Oral Hygiene
Maintaining your oral health is the most crucial tip you can get on this topic. Nothing else you do will ever contribute as much to keeping your teeth veneers in optimal shape.
What does “good oral hygiene” mean, though? It essentially boils down to a few factors, as outlined below.
1. Brush and Floss Regularly
Routine brushing and flossing are vital to preventing veneer or tooth deterioration. As a general rule, brush (thoroughly!) twice a day and floss once a day at least. If you use mouthwash, stick to alcohol-free ones since alcohol corrodes the adhesive between dental veneers and your teeth.
2. Get a Good Toothbrush
The right toothbrush can make a huge difference. Ideally, you want to find a brush with soft bristles and a small head. The bristles should be soft because they need to reach snug or otherwise inaccessible spots. The same applies to the small, more maneuverable head.
What About Electric Toothbrushes?
If you want to use an electric toothbrush, that’s fine. However, make sure the bristles are soft and that you don’t apply too much pressure while brushing.
3. Use the Right Toothpaste
A good toothbrush alone won’t cut it. You should also get a good paste.
When discussing how to take care of veneers with a dental specialist, they may recommend prescribed toothpaste for porcelain veneers. While it does what it’s meant to, it’s often expensive and doesn’t necessarily do the job much better than the standard kind.
Instead, you should opt for a non-abrasive paste with fluoride. Abrasive pastes use the following ingredients:
- baking soda,
- hydrogen peroxide,
- zirconium silicate,
- sodium metaphosphate,
- calcium pyrophosphate,
- or calcium carbonate.
Also, avoid using whitening paste. It may whiten your natural teeth, but dental veneers don’t respond to it, so your teeth could start looking brighter than the veneers.
Watch What You Eat and Drink
There are two kinds of food/drink around which you should exercise caution if you have teeth veneers: hard and staining. The former can lead to veneer chipping, and the latter can cause discoloration.
Spotting hard foods is easy enough, but what about staining ones? Well, here are the most common kinds:
- Balsamic vinegar,
- Dyed food (like candy, microwave popcorn, processed bread, etc.),
- Red wine,
- Soy sauce,
Though it’s not edible, tobacco can also stain veneers. If you’re a smoker with veneers or if you chew tobacco, you might want to consider quitting to keep your pearly whites looking good.
As already mentioned, teeth veneers don’t really respond to whitening substances, and the same goes for staining food. Your teeth do change color, however, so you risk creating greater contrast between them and your veneers.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
The question of how to care for veneers is always best answered by a certified dentist. We can throw tips your way ‘till your heart’s content, but a specialist will always provide the best solution for your situation.
With that in mind, the best thing you can do before implementing any big changes in your oral health maintenance is to consult your dentist. Not only that, but we thoroughly recommend that you pay them a visit on a regular basis for checkups or fixes (like polishing).
Mind you — there’s no need to go to your dentist every other week. Dropping by every six months or so is perfectly fine for the needs of the average patient.
Watch What You Chew
We already discussed the topic of foods you should not be eating regularly. However, for better or worse, food isn’t the only thing we chomp on every now and then. Many of us have the habit of biting our nails or chewing on pencils and the like.
In case you have such a habit, it would be best to stop yourself from engaging in it once you have your veneers installed. Veneers are pretty durable when it comes to everyday wear and tear, chewing, etc. They aren’t meant to endure frequent chewing on something like bones or ice, though, and you could inadvertently damage them by doing that.
Don’t Grind Your Teeth
Clenching and grinding of the teeth, either as a nervous tick or as a result of conditions like bruxism, can break your veneers. Since it’s typically an involuntary action, it makes caring for veneers all the more challenging. Not only that, but it can also harm your natural teeth.
No matter what it takes, you should prevent grinding if you’re prone to doing it. It’s usually best to consult a doctor for advice on how to do it. In case of bruxism, you may wear a nightguard (for sleeping bruxism) or get other forms of therapy like injections or relaxation drills (for those suffering from bruxism when awake).
Veneer Care: Final Words
As dramatic as it may sound, veneers can turn your life around. But they aren’t a one-time fix: they require regular maintenance, just like real teeth.
With the right tips and due diligence, you can make your veneers last well over a decade. To prevent any headaches in the future, be consistent about your oral hygiene. Now that you know how to take care of veneers, that shouldn’t be so difficult.