If you recently opted for porcelain veneers to enhance the look of your smile, congratulations! This cosmetic dental procedure can provide you with the smile you’ve always dreamed of, even if your natural teeth beneath are badly stained, chipped, cracked or unevenly shaped. After making this investment in the look of your teeth, you’re likely concerned about caring for your new teeth properly so that your smile stays as beautiful as it is today.
For the most part, caring for porcelain veneers is not much different than caring for your natural teeth and gums. You’ll want to stick to a regular regimen of brushing teeth at least twice per day (once in the morning and once at night before bed), as well as flossing daily. Ideally, you should use a soft-bristled toothbrush and just brush your teeth as you would normally. The only thing to keep in mind is that you should avoid any toothpaste that is overly abrasive, since it can scratch the surface of the veneers. However, most toothpaste available in stores is not abrasive enough to do any damage.
It’s also important to visit your dentist regularly for routine cleanings and preventative appointments. Most dentists recommend that you do this twice per year, although some may suggest that you come in a bit more often. Professional cleanings can remove tough stains that may not be easily removed during at-home brushing and can also provide a deep cleaning to make sure that your underlying teeth and gums remain healthy by removing any plaque or tartar build up that can lead to decay. If you don’t visit the same dentist that did your veneers, be sure to let him or her know that you have them so a non-abrasive toothpaste is used during the cleaning procedure.
When it comes to staining, porcelain veneers are only slightly more vulnerable to staining than natural tooth enamel. If staining is a concern of yours, you’ll want to avoid the usual culprits, such as red wine, coffee, tea and any food or drink that has dark pigmentation that can sit on teeth and cause discoloration. It is typically okay for you to consume these foods and beverages on occasion, but when you do, you should try to brush soon after or at least swish some water around your mouth to remove the pigmented debris from the surface of the teeth.
Another concern of those with porcelain veneers is whether they can bite into certain foods. Again, while veneers are generally strong and can withstand most of the same pressure as natural teeth can, you don’t want to take a chance of breaking or chipping an expensive tooth restoration. For this reason, you should take care when eating hard foods, such as apples, corn and so on. Rather than biting into these foods with your front teeth (which is where veneers are typically located), you are better off being safe than sorry by cutting the foods first and then chewing on them with your back teeth.
With proper care, you can expect your porcelain veneers to provide you with years of beautiful smiles. Just take a bit of extra precaution, stick to a regular oral hygiene regimen and visit your dentist as recommended.
For more information about caring for porcelain veneers, contact Gentle Dental in Queens at 718-461-0100.