Enjoying a few too many glasses of red wine or smoking for a few years can really leave your smile less than sparkling white. Whitening works for many people, but some stains may linger over time. Other minor appearance issues like chips, mild misalignment, or oddly shaped teeth can affect your self-esteem and cause you to hide your smile. Choosing dental veneers might revitalize your smile without the need for extensive treatments. The temporary veneers placed after the teeth are shaped are particularly delicate and need even more care. Your dentist will let you know how to best protect them. Once you’ve got your permanent veneers in place, make sure to follow these tips to avoid damage.
1. Prevent Stressing the Veneers
There are a number of ways you can stress out the veneers and increase the likelihood of damage. Chewing on hard or sticky foods could potentially damage the material. Avoid biting into whole apples and watch out when eating bone-in foods. Even durable porcelain veneer teeth covers require care when you’re eating certain foods. Watch out for bad habits like chewing on ice or pens, which put the veneers at risk as well. Try finding other ways to deal with stress or anxiety that might lead you to these habits.
Even your natural teeth can become damaged from habits like chewing on pens. If you do end up biting into popcorn kernels or crunching ice with your teeth covered in veneers, the veneer could chip or become loose altogether.
2. Check for Signs of Gum Disease
Your cosmetic dentist in Charlotte will check your mouth for signs of gum disease before they place the veneers. You may need treatment to clear up any gingivitis before veneers go in. But the problem can always occur after your veneers are installed, especially if you don’t keep up with your brushing and flossing habits. Check yourself at least once a day when you’re already brushing for the early warnings of gum disease. If the edges of your gum tissue appears red or you see pink on your toothpaste when brushing, make an appointment right away with your dentist. Prompt treatment will prevent gum disease from affecting your veneers.
3. Use a Soft Toothbrush and the Right Toothpaste
It’s a good idea to use a soft toothbrush in general to prevent damage to tooth enamel and veneers alike. You’ll also want to skip any toothpaste products that contain abrasive microbeads or that have activated charcoal mixed in. Abrasive whitening ingredients can damage the veneers, but your dentist can recommended a product that deals with surface stains while maintaining the durability of your veneers. Activated charcoal toothpaste tends to damage the enamel or veneers and is known for discoloring many types of cosmetic dentistry work.
4. Stop Smoking and Switch Drinks
Drinking black coffee and red wine is a path to discolored teeth, including those covered with veneers. Porcelain veneers are fairly stain-resistant, but they’ll eventually discolor if you smoke or drink strongly colored substances. Composite veneers need extra care to keep discoloration from setting in too quickly. Smoking discolors veneers directly, but it also increases the risk of damage to the teeth because of gum recession. It’s hard to repair gum loss with veneers in place, so you’ll usually need them removed and replaced in that situation. Taking care of your overall oral health is a good way to keep your veneers in place and looking great for a decade or longer.
5. See Your Dentist Regularly
Brushing your teeth and taking care of your veneers won’t substitute for attention from the dentist. Make sure you don’t skip any routine cleaning appointments or forget to schedule follow-up visits after having the veneers placed. Your dentist may recommend that you visit a little more often for the first few years of using the veneers if there were any gum disease or placement issues. If there are issues, your dentist can repair them most successfully if they’re caught early instead of six months to one year later. If you need to move an appointment, make sure to get in as soon as possible so you don’t forget about it.
If you’re not one of the millions of people with veneers already, you may wonder why you should consider getting them. Composite veneers are very affordable, making them easy to fit into any budget. Porcelain veneers can last 20 years or longer, reducing what you’ll spend to replace them over the course of your life. They’re a good option for younger people who only have a few cosmetic issues with their smile and no major damage to their teeth that would call for crowns or dental implants. Discussing your smile and your individual goals for it with your dentist is the best way to find out if veneers are a good fit.
When you’re ready to get veneers in Charlotte, come see us here at Skyview Dentistry. We’re happy to help you with whitening, veneers, and more to brighten your smile and improve your self-esteem. If you already have veneers, let us keep them well-maintained and perfectly polished so you always make a good first impression.