Porcelain Veneers Aftercare: How to Maintain Your New Smile
One of the most popular and time-tested cosmetic treatments, porcelain veneers can dramatically improve the appearance of your smile. A wide range of aesthetic flaws, such as chips, cracks, discoloration, staining, and slight misalignment, can be corrected with custom veneers.
Our team at Southwind Dental Care in Memphis, TN can recommend proper porcelain veneers aftercare. By following a few simple guidelines, patients can maintain their brilliant new smile for years to come.
Porcelain Veneers: An Overview
Crafted from strong, durable ceramic porcelain, veneers are thin shells that adhere to the front surfaces of the teeth. The treatment process can typically be completed in just two office visits, scheduled about one to two weeks apart.
Veneer placement requires the removal of natural enamel. Therefore, treatment is irreversible. In most cases, porcelain veneers can last approximately 15 to 20 years with proper care.
Tips for Porcelain Veneer Aftercare
Despite their thin design, porcelain veneers are incredibly durable and resilient. However, healthy dental habits will contribute to the longevity of your veneers.
Therefore, we recommend that our patients:
- Practice good oral hygiene: Just as healthy hygiene habits are essential for your natural teeth, they are vital to the success of your veneers as well. This means actively removing plaque, tartar, and other irritants from your teeth on a routine basis. Patients should brush at least twice a day and floss once a day to keep harmful bacteria at bay. Should a cavity develop underneath your veneer, it will need to be removed in order to treat the decay. Once the restorative work is complete, a new veneer can be placed.
- Use gentle care: To preserve your new veneers’ natural-looking sheen, avoid abrasive toothpaste. In addition, be sure you always use a soft-bristled toothbrush, as hard bristles can damage your enamel and gum tissue.
- Prevent periodontal disease: Practicing good oral hygiene will help prevent gum disease, which can wreak havoc on your oral health. If you are genetically predisposed to periodontal issues, ask your dentist how often you should have dental cleanings.
- Attend all dental visits: Home care is essential for the health of your teeth and gums. However, you must also attend all of your scheduled dental examinations and cleanings. These visits allow your doctor to monitor your health and detect any potential problems early on.
Things to Avoid
As part of your porcelain veneers aftercare, there are a few things you should avoid as well. These include:
- Staining agents: While porcelain is not as likely to stain as natural teeth, they are not completely invulnerable to discoloration. Dark-colored foods and beverages should be consumed in moderation. This includes tea, coffee, berries, red wine, fruit juice, and colas.
- Chewing on hard objects: Whether you have veneers or not, you should never use your teeth as tools. Avoid chewing on ice, pens, pencils, or fingernails to prevent chipping or other types of damage.
- Grinding or clenching the teeth: Patients who suffer from bruxism should consider having a custom night guard fabricated before pursuing porcelain veneers. Excessive clenching or grinding can wear down your veneers and damage your natural teeth.
- Smoking: Tobacco use is detrimental to your health, period. It can also stain porcelain veneers.
- Injury and trauma: Falls, collisions, accidents, or sporting injuries can seriously damage your veneers. If you play contact sports, we recommend a custom mouth guard to protect your teeth while you are on the court or field.
Contact Us for More Information
If you are considering porcelain veneers, understanding how to properly care for them can help you enjoy a beautiful smile for many years to come. To learn more, contact us online or call us at (901) 751-1260.