How to Care for Porcelain Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are among the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures performed. Patients love veneers because they make it possible to transform the look of your smile without the need for extractions, implants, or other major dental work. Furthermore, porcelain veneers can be made to match the look, feel, and function of your natural teeth.

As with any cosmetic dental work, however, there are some specific care and maintenance tips that must be followed after porcelain veneers are placed.

Use a Non-Abrasive Toothpaste

Sticking with a regular brushing and flossing routine after getting veneers is a must, but be careful that you're not using an abrasive toothpaste that could damage the surface of your porcelain veneers. Specifically, be on the lookout for toothpastes containing baking soda, which can cause small surface scratches to form on your veneers and make them more prone to staining over time.

Keep an Eye on Alcohol Consumption

Unfortunately, alcohol can break down the resin used to bond veneers to the teeth over time. This can lead to the veneers coming loose from the tooth. Those with dental veneers don't need to cut out alcohol consumption altogether, but they should try to cut back reasonably. It is also important to avoid the use of mouth washes that contain alcohol. There are plenty of effective mouth washes that kill bacteria without the use of alcohol.

Don't Skip That Follow-Up Appointment

Generally, about a week after your veneers are placed, your cosmetic dentist will want to see you for a follow-up appointment. Even if your veneers seem to fit you perfectly and you're not running into any obvious problems, it's important that you show up to this appointment and take it seriously. Your dentist will need to check your bite and ensure that everything is lined up properly so as to avoid long-term dental problems.

Take Steps to Prevent Teeth Grinding/Clenching

Believe it or not, one of the most common causes of damage to porcelain dental veneers is that of teeth grinding and clenching. Most people who do this do it in their sleep and may not even realize it's happening. However, teeth clenching and grinding can be problematic for veneers because it can cause them to become damaged or weaken the bonding resin.

If you clench or grind your teeth--whether while sleeping or when you're stressed--talk to your dentist. He or she should be able to make you a custom mouth guard that can be worn to protect your teeth and veneers, in addition to saving you from potentially painful and costly dental work down-the-road.

Avoid Staining Foods and Beverages

While porcelain veneers don't stain easily, it's still best to avoid foods and beverages that are known to stain teeth. This will help to keep your veneers and your natural teeth looking as similar in color/shade as possible. Some known staining foods and drinks include wine, coffee, and berries or berry juices. Of course, you may not be able to completely cut these out of your diet. Just be sure that, if you do consume any of these, that you try to brush your teeth as soon as possible afterwards or--at the very least--wash it down with a glass of water to reduce staining.

These are just a few aftercare tips to keep in mind if you're planning on having porcelain veneers done in the near future. This, in addition to seeing your dentist for regular exams and cleanings, will keep your teeth looking their best for years to come. To find out more about dental veneers or other cosmetic procedures, be sure to contact us at today!