Porcelain veneers give your smile a uniform appearance, making each tooth appear the same size and the same color. Many people depend upon their veneers to cover minor cosmetic dentistry problems, such as a discolored tooth. Veneers typically last seven to 20 years, so knowing how to take care of them can help them last for the longest time possible so you get the most from your investment.
Regular brushing and flossing are a must when you have veneers, otherwise you can fall prey to receding gums. Receding gums and gum disease leaves a gap between the veneer and your gums, which is unattractive, can trap bacteria, and lead to further gum problems or cavities.
Brush and floss twice a day to ensure the plaque that can lead to tartar buildup and gum recession is removed. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, since harder bristles can also lead to receding gums. Although most toothpaste types are fine on veneers, you may want to ask your dentist what type they recommend. Often, a less abrasive toothpaste is better for both the veneers and your gums than those that are harsher.
Veneers can chip and shatter, just like your real teeth. Grinding is one of the main concerns since it doesn't take as much pressure to damage a veneer compared to an actual tooth. If you are grinding your teeth, schedule a prompt visit to your dentist. They can fit you for a mouth guard, which will help prevent any damage from grinding from occurring to your teeth or veneers.
Porcelain is difficult to stain, but it can happen. They may be especially prone to staining along the margins where the cement used to bond them to your teeth is sometimes exposed. Smoking, coffee, tea, and red wine are the main causes of tooth and veneer staining.
Using a whitening toothpaste can help. You can also schedule a whitening procedure with your dentist. As a general rule, avoid home whitening kits with veneers unless your dentist specifically recommends them.
Beyond daily care, regular cleanings are a must. Generally, you can keep up your regular dentist and hygienist at six-month intervals. Make sure that your hygienist is trained on the proper care, cleaning and polishing of porcelain veneers, since these do require slightly different care than teeth that don't have veneers.
In some cases, your dentist may require more frequent cleanings in the first year. This is so that they can monitor how quickly the margins around each veneer are developing stains. Once this information is known, your dentist can make a qualified recommendation about how often you should plan on cleanings, or what methods you should use at home to avoid margin and veneer staining.