Having a complete guide to veneers maintenance is crucial to extend their life and improve their health. After your doctor places your veneers, you will be advised to take certain preventive measures to protect them from damage. All you have to do is pay more attention to your dental hygiene habits for the protection of your brand-new porcelain laminate veneers.
If looked after properly, porcelain veneers can last for almost 10 years or more. Although composite veneers can wear out faster, they too can last for at least 5 years with consistent dental care. Simple changes like picking a less abrasive toothpaste or investing in a soft-bristled toothbrush can go a long way.
Your eating habits and overall lifestyle can also be responsible for fading the color of your veneers so be mindful of certain stain-inducing foods. We will share with you the foods to consume less for the longevity of your veneers.
Tips for maintaining dental veneers
There is no hard and fast rule for veneers maintenance but dentists advise having them checked and cleaned at least every 6 months. The condition of your veneers has a lot to do with your dental hygiene and lifestyle habits. If regular brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups are part of your routine, veneers maintenance will not be that hard.
Professional cleaning and brightening treatments can help improve the tone and luster of your veneers. The main aim is to have an even-colored smile rather than a mismatched one.
The two most popular veneer varieties are porcelain and composite resin. Both have similar functions but different durability levels and life duration. Generally, porcelain dental veneers can last for at least 5 to 10 years if they are looked after properly. Composite veneers can also last for at least 5 years if a consistent dental hygiene plan is followed.
Here are a few simple ways to extend the life of your veneers and we will discuss them in detail later on in the article:
- Good Oral Hygiene
- Say no to hard or chewy foods
- Skip having stain-inducing foods and beverages
- Regular Brushing and Rinsing
- Invest In a Bite Guard or Mouthguard
- Change Your Toothbrush
- Don’t Consume Abrasive Dental Products
- Avoid DIY Treatments
Once your veneers are placed, their aftercare and maintenance are totally up to you. Your everyday oral hygiene habits and food choices can have drastic effects on the longevity of your veneers. We will list down a list of tips you can follow to give a long and healthy life to your veneers:
Maintaining good oral hygiene
After your veneers are placed, extra care and caution should be practiced. Dentists advise against excessive use of tobacco, dark foods, stain-inducing beverages such as tea or coffee, red wine, and sugary cola drinks.
After consuming these foods or beverages, make sure you are brushing and flossing consistently. Particularly after smoking or consuming sugary drinks, brushing can lessen the bacterial buildup. It can prevent the veneers from apparent stains and discoloration. These practices are what we call preventive measures rather than the actual cure.
According to dental research, toothpaste with baking soda should be avoided if you have veneers. Although baking soda is known to be effective for cleaner teeth it can be a bit harsh on the veneers. Your veneers can wear out much faster if you use baking soda on them.
Say no to hard or chewy foods
Among the first things, you must do after getting veneers is to avoid having too hard or chewy foods for healthy teeth. This could prevent your veneers from substantial damage such as chipping, fracturing, or breaking. These foods include ice, raw fruits & vegetables, tough meat, candy, etc.
Chewing on hard or sticky foods could eventually cause laminate loss, fracture of veneers, or any other aesthetic issues. It could also irritate the surrounding gums because of excessive pressure as you chew on hard foods. These foods can also enter the spaces in between your veneered teeth resulting in plaque buildup and cavities. The occurrence of gum recession is another problem that could cause problems for your veneers.
Avoiding stain-inducing foods and beverages
As much as hard and chewy foods are bad for your veneers, so are stain-inducing foods and drinks. Red wine could cause noticeable stains on your veneers and natural teeth that sometimes prove hard to be removed. Tea and black coffee can also affect your veneers dramatically because they can cause stubborn stains. Excessive use of these two could cause mild to extreme discoloration. Other foods that could cause stains on your veneers are blueberries, beetroots, citrus fruits, etc.
If the best you can do is limit your intake, even that could increase the life of your veneers. Along with caffeine, try to cut down on smoking if you are a heavy smoker. Smoking is a bad habit that can eventually dull down the color and speed up the oxidization process of veneers. It makes them weaker over time and more prone to cracks and gum recession.
Regular brushing and rinsing
Consistent oral care habits can go a long way for veneers maintenance. Ideally, you must brush your teeth with a soft-bristled brush after every meal, especially if indulging in sugary foods. If that’s not possible try and rinse your mouth after your meal to minimize bacterial buildup. Rinsing your mouth with non-alcoholic mouthwash also helps in freshening up and cleaning your mouth after a meal. It is the most simple yet effective way of maximizing the life of your veneers.
Invest in a bite guard or mouthguard
After you get veneers, appropriate measures must be taken to protect them and for a sparkling smile. Protecting them also includes wearing a mouthguard while doing any type of physical activity. A mouthguard can prevent veneers and natural teeth from accidents or injuries that occur during vigorous movements. This is why you may have seen athletes wearing mouthguards because they ensure protection against sudden trauma. You can ask your cosmetic dentist for a mouthguard and they will provide you with one appropriate for you.
Mouthguards can also be helpful if you are a habitual teeth grinder, also known as bruxism. This habit can put a lot of force on your teeth as you grind your teeth at night. This could fracture or break and misalign your teeth exposing them to cavities and other diseases.
Change your toothbrush
Veneers are prone to surface stains and lines if you don’t take special care of them with appropriate products. Laminate veneers have a sensitive surface and harsh brushing can cause lines on them. A soft-bristled toothbrush could be your best bet and it will help you protect the surface of veneers.
Soft-bristled toothbrushes also protect the gums surrounding the veneered teeth. You can easily find plenty of options in a supermarket including eco-friendly products such as bamboo toothbrushes. These toothbrushes have charcoal-infused bristles that help with the cleaning of tartar.
Don't use abrasive dental products
Since the veneer surface is quite sensitive, proper care should be taken to ensure its longevity. Avoid using abrasive dental products such as toothpaste with too much bicarbonate (baking soda) can cause stains and lines. You can use special veneer toothpaste instead. They dry out the laminate and eventually, your veneers look dull and discolored. Instead, dentists recommend gel-based non-abrasive toothpaste. Again you can find them easily at your nearest supermarket and to be sure ask your dentist for approval.
Avoid DIY treatments
Veneers have a sensitive surface so it is better not to experiment. While you may be tempted to try DIY treatments such as whitening strips or herbal remedies like cloves, lemon, or baking soda. Although they have healing powers they can have an adverse effect on your veneers. They can cause veneer stains and dull down the color of your veneers. Therefore, we suggest you stick to professional dental procedures to avoid any kind of mishaps.
Are veneers expensive to maintain?
Maintenance and upkeep of your veneers do not require many expensive and invasive procedures. All you need to do is be vigilant in terms of your oral health and lifestyle habits. With this being said, how do you clean veneers? Well, if you are at a point where you need dental assistance, there are a few simple procedures available to clean your veneers. The most common procedures include deep cleaning, scaling, and teeth polishing. These procedures can visibly improve the color of your veneers, and clean tooth decay.
The prices of veneer cleaning and brightening are highly affordable. Procedures such as scaling and cleaning or polishing will cost you somewhere around 50$ to 300$.
Veneer maintenance depends greatly on how much you take care of them and their material. The all-ceramic materials such as E-max, zirconia, or simple porcelain do not need expensive aftercare procedures. However, if you have composite veneers, more aftercare may be needed.
Also, the health and life span of your veneers depends on your oral health and overall lifestyle. For example, if you regularly brush and floss your teeth, there is less chance of future complications. With no proper care for dental hygiene, your veneers could wear down faster and your risk of developing cavities, gum diseases, and other oral health issues increases.
Can you whiten veneers?
One common question people ask is can you whiten veneers? The answer to this is that it depends on your personal preference. There are many ways through which you can improve and enhance the appearance of your veneers. Several dental procedures such as whitening, cleaning, and teeth polishing can refresh the appearance of your veneers but they may not be 100% effective.
Whitening of your veneers and the general health of your veneers depend on how you treat them daily. Your dental hygiene habits make a huge difference in how your veneers look. Regular rinsing, brushing, flossing, and eating less stain-inducing foods can dramatically decrease the chances of discolored or stained veneers.
Maintaining stain-free veneers
The usual wear and tear of your teeth can result in stains and marks on your real teeth. Veneers are used to hide these imperfections so that you can don that beautiful smile confidently.
After you get veneers, dentists advise maintaining a regular oral care routine in order to avoid stains or marks. As we discussed before, composite resins are much more prone to discoloration and stains. Therefore, it is important to have a proper dental hygiene routine in place.
There are a few prominent habits that you can adopt to minimize the chances of minor stains and brown lines on your veneers.
What about brushing though? Do you brush veneers? Well yes, but harsh brushing can expose your gum tissues and it exposes your veneers to stains and marks. Slow and controlled movement, while you brush, is important to save your veneers from damage.
You can ask your dentist for a toothbrush that would be suitable for you in this case. The best toothbrush for veneers might be electronic toothbrushes. They are ideal in this situation because they provide automated speed and intensity. Controlling your movement is key over here because harsh maneuvering can really damage your veneers.
Veneer polishing toothpaste
Once you get veneers, it is important to take care of their appearance. The natural wear and tear can discolor them faster than usual. To prevent this, doctors advise patients to invest in kinds of toothpaste created particularly to preserve the color of the veneer. This polishing toothpaste for veneers is made to gently polish your veneer and clean any bacterial buildup. Your dental hygiene routine has to undergo these changes to make sure you are preventing your veneers from damaging.
Smoking can be a real culprit behind discolored teeth. It accelerates the process of color stripping and your veneers look dull a lot faster than usual. Quitting smoking can do wonders for your veneers and it will maintain the brightness of your veneers for a longer time. There are plenty of ways you can try and quit smoking such as Nicotine replacement therapy, meditation techniques or behavioral therapy. Once you leave smoking, you will reap the benefits resulting in brighter and clearer veneers.
Frequent dental visits
The key to maintaining your veneers is to visit your dentist as frequently as possible. Your dentist will evaluate your veneers and advise a solution to your problems accordingly. In case of severe discoloration, your dentist can advise professional cleaning treatment. It is a standard procedure done to clean your overall teeth to solve any discoloration issues.
How do you whiten veneers?
Technically, veneers cannot be whitened or bleached to improve their color. Dentists usually advise against traditional whitening treatments because they are not that effective. Instead, they advise frequently visiting dental clinics for professional cleaning.
If you feel your veneers have yellow or brown stains on them, a professional cleaning can help with the uneven tone. At the same time, at-home dental care tips can also be used to prevent your veneer from discoloration and stains.
In extreme cases of damage or decay, dentists may also advise the replacement of veneers.
What to do if you notice stains on your veneers?
Veneer stains are fairly common, especially after six months of placement. The everyday wear and tear of your teeth and lifestyle habits determine how fast your veneers wear out. If you have a lazy attitude towards oral hygiene, the chances of discoloration and stains on your veneers are far higher. However, if you are persistent with your dental care habits, your veneers will last for a longer time.
When you start to notice stains on your veneers, the first thing you should do is consult your dentist. After examining your veneers, your dentist will decide if you need professional cleaning or a replacement.
Rather than whitening treatments, dentists advise professional cleaning for the maintenance of veneers. During this procedure, tartar and plaque buildup in your teeth is cleaned. It improves the appearance of your veneers and cleans your natural teeth as well as allows overall color evenness.
In extreme cases where there is an enormous amount of decay, dentists advise veneer replacement. In such cases, there is a cavity behind the veneer and a root canal treatment is needed.
Can you whiten veneers at home?
There are temporary fixes like whitening strips available for cleaning the top surface of veneers. However, they only work temporarily and the results are not so obvious either. DIY whitening treatments are not recommended by dentists in the case of veneers.
Whitening treatments generally don’t work on veneers and dentists usually ask patients to focus more on prevention rather than finding quick fixes. Your dental hygiene habits and eating habits determine the life span of your veneers. Your dental care routine should include regular brushing with a gentle toothbrush, flossing after food, and frequent dental visits. Expect your veneers to last longer than usual if you follow a consistent dental hygiene routine.
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