Porcelain Veneers Maintenance: A Complete Guide
You’ve finally made the decision to revamp your smile with Porcelain Veneer– congratulations! Now you can venture out into the world with a beautiful, straight smile. However, your work isn’t done after you’ve had your veneers put into place, and there are several steps you’ll need to take to keep them safe. By taking a proactive approach to caring for your Porcelain veneers, you can get the most out of your stunning new smile.
Because Porcelain veneer treatment is an investment into your smile, there is a good reason to want to maximize your results. This means prolonging the life of your veneers with proper care.
Porcelain veneers can last up to 15 to 20 years if properly cared for. To get the most out of your restoration, you should adhere to some basic oral care guidelines.
Below are Tips for Caring for Your Porcelain Veneer
Do you have a bad habit of chewing on pens, or are you a nail biter? Not only are these habits gross and a social faux pas, but they can also actually lead to damage of your porcelain veneers over time. To protect your cosmetic dental work, make an effort to keep inedible items out of your mouth.
Do not bite into very hard objects. Everybody knows the teeth are not just used for eating, but they can also be used as tools for, say, opening bottles. Unfortunately, such activity is harmful not just for your teeth, but also for your veneers. Very hard objects, such as metal caps and glass bottles can chip the porcelain. If you have the habit of biting into random things, such as pencils, pens, or even ice, it would be helpful if you can take steps to end the mannerism.
You must care for your veneers just as much as you care for your real teeth. Brushing at least twice a day and using dental floss are great ways to maintain optimal dental health. Poor hygiene can also lead to gum diseases, which may cause your gums to recede, exposing the borders of veneers and putting them at risk of chipping or detachment.
Maintaining your veneers on a daily basis is essential, but these delicate coverings require more care than your natural teeth.
• When brushing and flossing, use gentle motions. Aggressive and forceful movements may chip or damage your veneers. When your veneers are installed, your dentist should give you instructions on how to brush and floss properly. An electric toothbrush with soft bristles can be useful once more.
• Brush your teeth with an alcohol-free mouthwash every time. A good antiseptic mouthwash can help you remove plaque, prevent gum disease, and keep your veneers looking their best. However, as previously stated, alcohol can soften bonding composites and contribute to the premature degradation of veneers. Choose an alcohol-free mouthwash.
If you’re having trouble removing stains or discoloration, make an appointment with your dentist for a professional cleaning.
• Brush your veneers with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Because those thin enamel coatings are more sensitive than natural teeth and may scratch easily, avoid using brushes with hard bristles. Consider using an electric toothbrush with soft bristles because the pressure applied is more controlled than with manual brushing, resulting in less pressure on your gums.
• Make use of non-abrasive toothpaste. Your dentist may recommend a fluoride toothpaste designed specifically for veneers. If you choose your own toothpaste, you should avoid abrasive formulas such as those containing baking soda or hydrogen peroxide.
Use the right toothpaste. Some toothpaste brands may contain ingredients that are too abrasive for both your teeth and your veneers. When choosing your toothpaste, make sure to check the ingredients for substances like hydrogen peroxide and sodium bicarbonate or baking soda. The former will eat away at your veneers’ surface while the latter’s gritty nature can lead to the veneers losing their colour and sheen. In general, it may be wiser to choose gel products over those in paste form as they tend to contain none of the ingredients mentioned. Do not feel compelled to buy whitening toothpastes either, as they are not necessary and may even be detrimental to your veneers.
It is recommended that you floss daily to keep the edges of the veneers clean in between your teeth. Regular waxed nylon floss is an effective cleaner, but it may be a bit difficult to slide between tight contacts of your teeth because of the thick wax. Nylon that has no wax can floss easily but is prone to shredding. The best flossing material is polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) floss. This type of floss uses the same material that is used in the high-tech Gore-Tex fabric. It slides easily between your teeth, and it’s less likely to shred. Also, proper technique is also very important when it comes to flossing. Don’t just slide the floss up and down. This does not clean the sides also known as proximal properly. Place your dental floss between your teeth and gently slide it on the sides of your teeth. Now wrap the floss on one tooth forming a C-shape and slide your floss up and down being sure that you scrap the sides properly. Do this up to under the gums where the plaque is not easily visible. Now without removing the floss from the tooth, slide it over to the adjacent tooth and repeat the same process.
Your Cosmetic Veneer dentists can help to preserve the life of your dental work by polishing your Porcelain veneers. This procedure can be performed approximately once every three months. A Veneer dentist will use specialized solutions and equipment to ensure that your veneers and original teeth are thoroughly cleaned. However, polishing your Dental veneers doesn’t mean that you can slack on your own dental hygiene. Flossing and brushing your teeth frequently can allow you to enjoy longer results after polishing, and you can go long periods of time between each session.
The rule against biting hard stuff also applies to food, such as raw carrots, raw apples, hard chips, and meat cuts that contain bone. Aside from watching out for tough food items, you must also be wary of eating too much, especially those that contain lots of sugar and acid. These items contribute to tooth decay which cannot be good for your veneers either. That said, be sure to avoid sweet and starchy foods, such as candies, kinds of pasta, bread, and crackers, as well as sugary drinks like carbonated soda and fruit juice. Acidic items like fruits (lemons and other kinds of citrus) are also best prevented from staying too long inside your mouth. Finally, avoid food that contains lots of colouring. Porcelain Veneers do get stained, just not very easily.
Porcelain veneers are extremely durable, so you can enjoy most of your favourite foods and beverages without fear of your veneers chipping, fading, or otherwise becoming compromised. There are, however, a few food interactions to be aware of. You should also exercise extreme caution if you have no-prep veneers or composite resin, as these are not as durable as porcelain.
If you’ve ever wondered whether it’s safe to eat hard candy, corn on the cob, or even alcohol, we’re here to clear the air. Read more below.
Most foods are safe to consume when you have permanent veneers, especially if those veneers are made from high-quality porcelain. Porcelain is preferred by dentists because it holds its integrity extremely well, even when under constant stress. It also maintains its color and sheen. If you have or are considering porcelain veneers, you’ll just need to exercise some caution with the following items:
- If you have veneers, the only food you should avoid is jawbreakers and similar hard candies. This applies to all veneer types, including porcelain, no-prep, composite, and temporaries. Hard candies that melt on their own (such as Jolly Ranchers) are generally safe if you don’t bite into them while they’re still hard.
- While most foods are safe to eat with porcelain veneers, hard foods such as apples, raw carrots, and bone-in meats should be avoided. When biting down on extremely hard foods, it is possible to crack the porcelain, which is why it is generally recommended that you chew these foods with your back teeth. If you have a more delicate type of veneer, such as composite or Lumineers, you must be extra cautious, ideally avoiding these types of foods entirely.
- Because porcelain is virtually stain-proof, it will not be discoloured by coffee, tea, colas, red wine, or other dark liquids. However, excessive consumption of dark liquids may stain the bonding material, leaving you with a yellow or brown tinge along the tooth’s edge. While the risk of staining is generally low, it is still best to drink these beverages through a straw so that the liquid enters the mouth directly.
If you have composite veneers, you must exercise extra caution because these lower-quality coverings can become dull or discoloured over time. If you have heat-activated temporary veneers, you must avoid all hot beverages.
- With veneers, smoking and all forms of tobacco consumption should be avoided. Smoking is harmful to one’s health, and while it is unlikely to stain the porcelain commonly used for veneers, it can discolour the teeth around them. As a result, your veneers may begin to appear unnatural over time as the colour of your other teeth fades. Cigarette smoke can also stain the veneer bonding material.
- If you have veneers, you should limit your alcohol consumption. Aside from the health risks associated with moderate to heavy drinking, excessive alcohol consumption can soften the bonding material over time.
This means that the veneer may become unstable and need to be replaced before its time. Furthermore, without a strong bond, veneers are more prone to chips and cracks. While a high-quality porcelain veneer (placed by a skilled cosmetic dentist) can often last 15 to 20 years with proper care, if you drink excessively, the lifespan may be significantly shorter.
- Eating Corn on the Cob With Veneers?If you have permanent veneers, you can eat corn on the cob. Just be careful not to bite too deeply into the cob. The goal is to gently separate the corn from the cob’s surface. Furthermore, corn on the cob should always be cooked; consuming raw corn on the cob may put additional strain on the veneers.
- Eating Steak With Veneers?If you have porcelain or other types of permanent veneers, you can eat steak. Before eating the meat, cut it into small pieces. Avoid biting into or pulling against the bone itself when eating bone-in steaks (or any other bone-in meat), as this can put unnecessary strain on the veneers and potentially weaken the bonding material prematurely.
Porcelain veneers are designed to be stain resistant, but that fact isn’t the same for your natural tooth structure. In order to keep your smile looking at its whitest, you should be wary of substances that might stain your veneers, including cigarettes, coffee, soda, red wine, tea, berries, and beets. If you do enjoy one of these items, be sure to brush and floss your teeth immediately afterwards to minimize the likelihood that stains will develop.
Do you play sports or other contact activity in which the health of your teeth might be at risk? If so, you will want to wear a mouth guard or other form of protection to ensure that your veneers are safe. Basketball, football, wrestling, and other contact sports may put your beautiful new smile in danger. By protecting your teeth from potential trauma, you are saving yourself a lot of pain, not to mention the cost that would be required to repair your smile.
Many people suffer from tooth grinding, whether they realize it or not. Tooth grinding, otherwise known as bruxism, is a serious issue involving the clenching and shifting of the teeth during sleep. If you continue to grind your teeth without seeking treatment, you can damage your porcelain veneers. Damage may also occur to your original teeth and the jaw joint, so if you suspect that you are a night time grinder, consult with your dentist about treatment options. He or she may fit you for a night time mouth guard that can help to protect your teeth from the damaging effects of grinding.
Consuming lots of alcoholic drinks will soften the bonding composites holding the veneers to your teeth. While this doesn’t mean the veneers will come loose, it will make the bonding line more prone to damage, deterioration, and stains. Alcohol is not found just in beverages though. When buying mouthwash or toothpaste, check the ingredient list to see if they contain alcohol as these can be just as damaging as liquor.
Now that you’ve learnt how to provide care to your veneers, it’s time to put your newfound knowledge to test. If you follow the tips provided above, your transition should be easy. With just some minor adjustments to your daily oral hygiene routine, you can provide your dental veneers with the necessary care they need. With just some little help from your dentist, your dental veneers should last for many years to come.
Porcelain veneers can last a lifetime if properly maintained. This, however, should not be the expectation. In most cases, your veneers will need to be replaced once or twice during your lifetime. The good news is that the replacement is simple. The old veneer is simply removed, new impressions of the tooth are taken to send to a lab, and the new veneer is placed as soon as it is ready. Minor preparation may be required.
If a porcelain veneer cracks or becomes damaged, it will almost always need to be replaced. In most cases, broken porcelain veneers cannot be repaired to their original condition. Fortunately, this type of damage is rare.
When your porcelain veneer reaches the end of its lifespan or breaks, it must be replaced.
Here are a few indicators that it’s time to replace your veneers:
• They begin to look dull and no longer shine like the surrounding teeth
• The veneers become discoloured
• They show physical signs of wear
• They become cracked or chipped
• The bonding cement becomes loose or the veneers begin to lift
You notice signs of gum recession.
If you go to your bi-annual dental appointments on a regular basis, your dentist should be able to tell when it’s time to replace—even if you haven’t noticed any problems yet.
When the time comes, the dentist will carefully remove the old veneer as well as a thin layer of enamel. Then they’ll take impressions for your replacement veneer and fit you with a temporary veneer until the new restoration is finished. The new veneer will then be bonded to your tooth in the same manner as before.
If your tooth no longer has enough enamel to support a new veneer, your dentist may suggest a crown instead.
Veneers are made to be durable, but they are not indestructible. Veneers, like any other type of dental restoration (or natural teeth), can chip and break. The likelihood of a break is determined by the type of veneers used. Porcelain veneers are extremely durable and can last 15 to 20 years; composite veneers typically last less than 10 years and are more prone to breakage.
A veneer can break or crack for a variety of reasons.
• As a result of improper design or placement
• As a result of grinding your teeth on a regular basis
• As a result of biting into hard foods such as ice or jawbreakers (especially on a regular basis)
• As a result of a direct blow to the face
• As a result of tooth decay behind the veneer
• Debonding (when the veneer separates from the tooth without physically breaking)
When you receive your veneers, your cosmetic dentist should provide you with detailed care instructions, ensuring that your new restorations last as long as possible.
If your veneer breaks, the first thing you should do is contact your dentist. You should try to visit within 48 hours, preferably sooner.
You must collect the broken veneer fragments and wrap them in a clean cloth or other soft, protective covering. Then put it in a safe place and bring it with you to the dentist. They will be able to advise you on the best course of action.
If the veneer is made of porcelain, a replacement will usually be required. The procedure for obtaining a replacement veneer is similar to that for obtaining the original veneer.
Your new restoration will require impressions, X-rays, and preparation by the dentist. If there haven’t been any significant changes to the tooth structure, you shouldn’t need to have it filed again. All you’ll need is the initial fitting and installation.
There are a few cases where the original porcelain veneer can be saved.
Small chips, for example, can sometimes be smoothed out with dental contouring.
Furthermore, if the veneer is still intact but becomes loose, the dentist may be able to re-adhere it. This type of debonding can occur when a foreign substance (such as sticky foods) becomes lodged between the veneer and the tooth, weakening the bond. This could be a problem if the restoration was not properly bonded in the first place.
Assuming your veneers fit properly and are of high quality, you can keep them in good condition by following a few simple procedures:
• Schedule regular cleanings and check-ups with your dentist. You should see your dentist at least twice a year, once for a general check-up and once for a deep cleaning.
• Avoid eating hard foods. Crunchy foods such as tortilla chips are acceptable, but hard candy and ice cubes should be avoided.
• Avoid compulsive chewing habits, such as chewing on pencils. This is related to the previous point.
• Avoid grinding your teeth. If you have a habit of clenching or grinding your teeth while sleeping, you may benefit from wearing a mouthguard at night. Grinding can cause porcelain to deteriorate over time.
• Brush and floss your teeth after every meal, or at least twice a day. Gum disease can cause the gums to recede, causing the veneers to be damaged. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles, preferably an electric brush. Your toothpaste should also be non-abrasive and preferably veneer-safe. A specific product may be recommended by your dentist.
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Porcelain Veneers Maintenance
Dr. Zenaidy Castro understands the impact a beautiful smile can have on your daily life. She takes the time to listen to each patient’s goals in order to produce the best results for everyone who wants to have a better smile.
Dr. Zenaidy Castro love transforming smiles through cosmetic dentistry, and with her vast experience of over 30 years, the care and aesthetic results she provides for all her patients is unmatched. What sets her apart is her careful eye for detail and ensure they have superior results that meet her patients expectations.
She enjoys creating smiles based on the idea that each person is born with a unique smile, and believe that a beautiful smile is not a one-size-fits-all smile design or a an appearance that seems like coming from a single factory manufacturing line.
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