Veneers are a great way of achieving a better smile, but they need to be cared for and maintained properly. Otherwise you could be left dealing with expensive repairs or frequent replacements. Dental veneers can last between 10 and 20 years with proper care – but what exactly does “proper care” involve? Here’s what you need to do to make sure your dental veneers last as long as possible and you are getting the most out of your investment.
Follow excellent oral hygiene practices
Having dental veneers is no excuse to skimp on your oral hygiene practices – and doing so will be bad news for your regular teeth as well as your veneers. Dental veneers will not correct any dental problems you currently have or prevent future problems from occurring. Your tooth under the veneer is still vulnerable to disease and decay if your dental health is poor. Decayed or diseased teeth will often require the removal of the veneer in order to be treated, leading to more time and expense for you. If you want your veneers to last as long as possible, you need to be serious about your dental health and hygiene. This includes:
- Daily brushing at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste to keep decay in check.
- Flossing daily to keep your gums healthy and protect against gum disease, which could cause a gap to occur between your veneers and your gums.
- Using mouthwash regularly to keep your mouth healthy.
- Having your teeth professionally cleaned by a dentist twice a year.
- Use a soft toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste
Hard toothbrushes and over-enthusiastic brushing can wear away your veneers over time. Treat your veneers gently by using a soft-bristle toothbrush and a non-abrasive toothbrush to help them last.
Schedule regular dental check-ups
You may think that once you have veneers to protect and cover your teeth you won’t need to visit the dentist as often. However, to get the greatest longevity out of your veneers you still need to visit the dentist on a regular basis. Your dentist will be able to assess the state of your veneers and determine if there’s any damage or decay happening underneath or around them. This is important as issues with your teeth will lead to problems with your veneers, and maybe necessitate their removal. Your dentist will also be able to give your teeth and gums a thorough cleaning to keep them in the best state of health possible.
Reduce consumption of stain-causing foods and drinks
Just like your regular teeth, veneers can stain, or become yellow and dull-looking. While they won’t stain as much as your natural teeth, prolonged consumption of stain-causing foods and drinks such as coffee, wine, tea, blueberries, beetroot, curry etc. will lead to
stained veneers over time. It’s best to reduce consumption of such foods and drinks. If you really can’t, then try to use a straw when drinking, and make sure you rinse your mouth out after eating stain-causing foods. This will give your veneers the best chance of resisting staining.
Don’t chew on or eat hard items
Items such as ice cubes, hard lollies, toffee, pen caps, pencils etc. might be fun to chew on but they can be extremely damaging to your veneers. Veneers are made of strong, durable porcelain, but under the right circumstances a porcelain veneer can still split, crack or break. Be careful when chewing on hard items, or better yet, try to avoid this altogether.
Don’t clench or grind your teeth
Clenching or grinding your teeth is a habit you’ll need to break if you want your veneers to last. Grinders or clenchers can cause their veneers to crack or chip. Talk to your dentist about strategies to reduce grinding and clenching to help your veneers stay looking good. For instance, if you clench or grind your teeth when you sleep, you might need to consider wearing a mouthguard at night.
Don’t use your teeth as tools
Using your teeth to tear open packets, loosen knots or similar tasks can be dangerous for your veneers. There’s a very good chance you’ll end up chipping your veneers when you use your teeth as tools – so just don’t do it.
Wear a mouthguard when necessary
If you’re playing contact sports, it’s extremely important to wear a mouthguard, as impacts to the head and face can result in chipped or cracked veneers. Keep your veneers and your teeth safe by always wearing a mouthguard, both during the game and in training.
Smoking is bad for your veneers as well as your health, and will quickly cause your veneers to look yellow. Cut down on the amount you smoke or quit entirely – your veneers, your breath, your skin and your health will all thank you.
Choose your dentist wisely
To avoid future problems with your veneers it’s important to have them fitted by a properly trained, qualified and experienced dentist such as Lentini Dental. If veneers are placed incorrectly, it can affect your speech and your bite, and lead to problems such as headaches, pain, or veneers breaking or chipping prematurely. If you have your veneers placed by an expert dentist there’s a good chance they’ll last even longer than the average lifespan. Look for an experienced dentist with proven results who’ll take your individual needs and situation into consideration.
So don’t make these mistakes and ruin your shiny new veneers before their time. Follow these strategies to keep your veneers in excellent shape and ensure they last for a long time.
Talk to your dentist about veneers today – contact us here.