You may have heard about how versatile and effective porcelain veneers are as a cosmetic dentistry solution to a variety of aesthetic problems. From discoloration to cracks and chips to gapped teeth, porcelain veneers have the ability to completely transform your smile in just three appointments.
Here’s how they work: Porcelain veneers are thin “covers” for your teeth made from advanced ceramic. They essentially allow your dentist to create a new exterior for your teeth to completely change your smile’s appearance, from color to size to shape.
Better yet, when cared for well, they can last decades — research indicates that more than 90% of porcelain veneers are still in place after ten years, and nearly 85% are still in place after twenty. With statistics like that, it’s no wonder so many people are choosing to makeover their smiles with this flexible and durable procedure.
Oral Hygiene for Your Porcelain Veneers
If you want your porcelain veneers to keep you smiling for twenty years, it’s important to take care of them well! While the veneer itself is not susceptible to decay, your real teeth are still underneath them, so cavities are still a concern. Veneers can also become stained, just like your real teeth, so you should perform certain dental hygiene practices to ensure they stay as beautiful as the day you first get them!
First things first: Brushing and flossing is still a top priority! To keep your teeth under the veneers safe from decay, you need to brush twice a day with a soft-bristled brush, and floss daily. If you’re brushing effectively, it should take about three minutes to get your whole mouth gleaming. It’s important that you listen to recommendations about what kind of toothpaste you use for your veneers. Most toothpastes are fine, but some–especially those advertised as whitening toothpastes–are very abrasive and can damage your veneers.
If you’re not confident in your brushing abilities or have trouble with the fine motor function of tooth brushing, an electric toothbrush is a great addition to any dental hygiene routine. Electric toothbrushes can help you brush thoroughly and consistently.
But if mouthwash was a part of your oral hygiene routine before veneers, you may need to make a change! Alcohol and mouthwashes that contain alcohol can damage the bond between your veneer and your tooth. While your veneers should stay solidly affixed to your teeth regardless of your alcohol consumption, this can weaken the bond enough to open it up to unsightly staining. Try an alcohol-free mouthwash to get that fresh feel without the damage.
Beauty and Durability
Other than good oral hygiene, there’s not much you have to do to preserve your veneers.
You don’t really have to worry about staining your veneers. In general, veneers are more stain resistant than your natural teeth: they’re protected with a glaze that can repel most stains. Even if they do get discolored because of stains clinging to the front of the veneer, they should polish up well again.
And of course, veneers are strong, but they’re not indestructible! You should avoid using your teeth for anything but food. Chewing on pens or fingernails, or using your teeth as tools to open bottles are all putting your porcelain veneers at risk of damage.
If you have been given a nightguard to protect your veneers from teeth clenching (bruxism) make sure you wear it every night. Otherwise, your veneers can get damaged.
Your porcelain veneers can serve you well for many years if you care for them appropriately! If you want to discuss porcelain veneers with an experienced San Diego cosmetic dentist, call (619) 299-5925 or contact us online to make an appointment.