How to Make the Most of Your Veneers

How to Make the Most of Your Veneers

Veneers are a versatile solution to many common cosmetic dental concerns. Also known as laminates, these thin porcelain shells are made to fit perfectly over the front of your teeth so you can conceal imperfections and create the bright, flawless smile you’ve always wanted. 

Once your veneers are in place, you’ll no longer see:

Instead, you’ll see a fresh new smile that you can’t wait to share with the world. With proper care, you can expect your veneers to last at least 10 years — maybe longer. 

Here, our skilled cosmetic dentistry specialists at Smiles in Springfield offer a few simple tips to help you make the most of your veneers, so they’ll last as long as possible.

1. Practice good oral hygiene habits

Prolonging the life of your veneers begins with good oral hygiene. That means taking care of your veneers the same way you take care of your natural teeth — by brushing and flossing thoroughly every day. 

Using a soft-bristled manual or electric toothbrush and non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste, brush thoroughly for two minutes at least twice a day — once in the morning, and once just before you go to bed. Floss in between teeth at least once a day, preferably before or after you brush at the end of the day. 

2. Schedule twice-yearly dental visits 

Your twice-yearly dental exams and cleanings are just as important to your oral health — and the longevity of your veneers — as your daily oral hygiene habits. 

When you see our team every six months, we clear away any lingering plaque that can lead to cavities and gum disease, and remove the calcified tartar that you can’t get off with a regular toothbrush. We also check the durability of your veneers, looking for signs of damage that may need to be addressed. 

3. Chew hard foods with your molars

Whether your veneers cover only your front teeth or extend all the way back to the corners of your smile, it’s important to avoid using them to bite directly into hard, tough, or chewy foods. Doing so can stress your veneers or strain the bond between your veneers and your teeth. 

When you want to eat something that’s hard, tough, or chewy — like an apple, raw carrots, a tough cut of beef, dried jerky, or chewy dried fruit — cut the food into bite-sized pieces and chew them with your molars.

4. Don’t use your front teeth as tools

For the same reason you shouldn’t bite into a whole apple with your front teeth when you have veneers, you shouldn’t use your front teeth or veneers as tools. 

Use scissors instead of your teeth to tear into a bag of chips; use nail clippers instead of your teeth to trim your nails; and use a hook instead of your teeth to hold a hanger as you slide an ironed shirt into place. 

5. Avoid dark, staining foods and drinks

Veneers are made from materials that are highly resistant — but not impervious — to staining. As such, the occasional glass of red wine or blueberry-infused smoothie won’t discolor your veneers, but over time, a steady intake of dark, staining foods and drinks just might. 

To prevent your veneers from becoming permanently stained or discolored, it’s helpful to minimize your intake of foods and beverages that are rich in stain molecules. This includes red wine, coffee, and black tea; blueberries and raspberries; and dark chocolate, balsamic vinegar, and curries.

If your veneers do become discolored, it’s time to have them replaced — veneers can’t be brightened with professional teeth whitening treatments or store-bought whitening products, and doing so can actually degrade the material.

6. Never clench or grind your teeth 

We don’t recommend veneers for people who grind or clench their teeth, simply because these involuntary habits are exceptionally hard on natural teeth as well as veneers: Grinding tends to wear down and erode natural tooth enamel, and break veneers, too. 

But if you happen to develop a nighttime grinding problem (bruxismafter you get veneers — something we can detect during a routine dental exam — it’s important to start wearing a custom-fitted night guard when you sleep, to protect both your natural teeth and your veneers.

With good care, your veneers will last

Veneers are an irreversible treatment, meaning once you get them, you’ll always need them to protect the underlying teeth they’ve been adhered to. They’re also not permanent — while good care can help your veneers last for 10 years or longer, you’ll eventually need a new set. 

To learn more about caring for your veneers, or to schedule your next exam with Dr. Quang Tran or Dr. Truc Duong at Smiles in Springfield, call 703-595-2403 to reach our office in Springfield, Virginia, today.

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