If you have dental veneers, you’re probably enjoying their many benefits. As a simple solution to close gaps or alter a tooth’s shape, size, color, these thin pieces of porcelain also add strength and resilience to your bite. Veneers are also very natural-looking and stain resistant.
Veneers are durable and can last anywhere from seven to twenty years. That’s a pretty sizeable time frame. How long your veneers can work for you depends on how well you take care of them. Veneers don’t require much more maintenance than natural teeth, but there are steps you can take to ensure you get the most out of them.
Here are 5 tips for making your veneers last as long as possible:
1) Treat them like your original teeth
Dentists recommend brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day, just like you would with natural teeth. Using non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste will help clean your teeth gently and effectively.
2) Wear a night guard
If you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth at night, your dentist may recommend wearing a nighttime bite guard while you sleep. This will protect both your natural teeth and veneers from damage. If you play contact sports, also consider wearing a mouth guard for protection.
3) Avoid activities that may twist or displace the veneer
Veneers can hold up well to biting and chewing, but they are not as strong when it comes to twisting or bending forces. Any ripping or tearing motion, like ripping open a snack food bag with your teeth, might cause the tooth beneath the veneer to flex. This can result in the veneer cracking, breaking, or coming off.
4) Avoid excessive alcohol consumption or alcohol-containing mouthwashes
Alcohol softens the bonding composite that attaches the veneer to the tooth. This also goes for alcohol-containing mouthwashes. Alcohol probably won’t go as far as loosening the veneer, but it could make the bonding more susceptible to deterioration and stains.
5) Minimize exposure to stain-producing substances
Although veneers are generally stain-resistant, the cement that holds the veneer in place can become stained over time. If this layer of material becomes noticeably discolored, the veneer may have to be replaced. Limiting exposure to things like coffee, tea, wine and tobacco products can help reduce the need for a second procedure.
Keeping these 5 tips in mind and visiting your dentist regularly will increase the lifespan of your veneers and help you enjoy your new smile for as long as possible. Don’t hesitate to contact your dentist if you have any questions!