If you’ve invested your time, money and energy into getting veneers, naturally you’ll want to keep them looking their best for as long as you can!
Knowing how to properly take care of your veneers, whether they’re porcelain or composite, can help extend their life and maintain their original appearance. On average, porcelain veneers can last for from 10 – 17 years, while composite veneers can last for approximately 5 years. If you properly look after them, they may last even longer.
Keep reading for the best ways to prolong the life of your veneers and keep your beautiful, bright smile for many years to come!
- Maintain good oral hygiene
- Visit your dentist regularly
- Avoid chewing hard foods
- Prevent teeth grinding
- Minimise staining foods
- Reduce alcohol consumption
1. Maintain good oral hygiene
Not only does a good oral hygiene routine keep your real teeth healthy, but also maintains the quality of your veneers. Decay will still build up on the teeth even if you have veneers, which is why preventative dentistry is important. Ensure you brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss and rinse with mouthwash daily.
It’s also important to pay attention to how and what you’re brushing with. Brushing aggressively and using a hard toothbrush can cause gum recession where the gums move back so the root of the tooth becomes visible. This means you may eventually be able to see where the edge of your veneer meets the tooth and you may need to then replace the veneers.
If your toothbrush head has the bristles all fanning out to the sides and wears out quickly, there’s a good chance you’re brushing too hard. Choose a soft toothbrush, and try holding it with your fingertips to reduce the force.
2. Visit your dentist regularly
Seeing your dentist twice a year for a check-up and clean will allow them to get rid of any plaque that has built up which your toothbrush may not be able to remove by itself. If you don’t get a professional clean and the plaque continues to accumulate, you may need to have your veneers removed to properly clean the area, then replaced.
Your dentist can also inspect your veneers to make sure they’re still being held in place and the bond hasn’t become worn down. A regular check-up and clean will help detect signs of tooth decay and other issues, as well as keeping your treatment warranty valid.
3. Avoid chewing hard foods
The same foods that can chip or crack your teeth can also do the same to your veneers, with too much force on at the end having the potential to cause damage.
Try not to bite directly into hard foods like ice, whole carrots, nuts or corn on the cob. Chop them into small pieces, otherwise you may risk having to replace your veneers if they chip.
You should also avoid chewing other hard objects like pencils, your nails or opening bottles with your teeth as this can easily damage them.
4. Prevent teeth grinding
Many people suffer from teeth grinding when they’re stressed, while sleeping or due to a misaligned bite. This is also known as ‘bruxism’, and can be treated in several ways, including muscle relaxant injections or by using a night guard while sleeping. These treatments are especially recommended for those with veneers.
5. Minimise staining foods
Despite porcelain veneers being stain-resistant, some foods and drinks can cause their original brightness to dull. In general, it’s best to reduce the amount of coffee, tea, red wine and cigarettes which come into contact with your teeth, as it will also cause your real teeth to discolour and therefore no longer match your veneers. If you don’t want to give up your favourite beverages, try to drink them with a straw when possible to help reduce their contact with your teeth.
6. Reduce alcohol consumption
Drinking alcohol in moderation is not only a good choice for your health, but also your veneers. Large amounts of alcohol can cause the bonding cement under your veneers to become weak, which can leave it susceptible to damage, stains and deterioration. Your veneers may not necessarily fall off, but their attachment can become weak.
Alcohol may also be present in your toothpaste and mouthwash, so remember to read the labels and try to purchase alcohol-free options when possible.