Taking Care of Your Porcelain Veneers
By William Stofer on July 23, 2014
Porcelain veneers are one of the most effective ways to give your smile a makeover. By improving the size, shape, and color of your teeth, veneers are a first-class treatment option for patients with a variety of cosmetic problems. Being one of the most durable and aesthetically realistic dental materials, porcelain offers patients the opportunity to create a new, long lasting smile.
Once you have veneers installed, it is only sensible that you should make them last as long as possible. Most veneers cannot be repaired once worn or broken, resulting in the need for replacement. Our Warsaw dental practice therefore offers the following ways in which you can extend the lifespan of your veneers, thus extending your investment and the quality of your smile.
How Long Will My Veneers Last?
On average, porcelain restorations are estimated to last up to 15 years before needing replacement. However, the true lifespan of a veneer is almost entirely dependent upon how you treat it. If you maintain good hygiene and prevent your veneers from becoming damaged, they can last their full expected duration and then some. Patients who take care of their veneers may continue to benefit from them for upward of 20 years or longer.
Daily Care and Maintenance
Patients may be relieved to learn that porcelain veneers do not require any special treatment outside of regular hygiene habits. Still, this is not an excuse to ignore the health of your veneers or the teeth underneath them. If anything, veneers require the most vigilant and thorough hygiene, since bacteria may grow in any tiny spaces between the porcelain and underlying tooth. Moreover, once a cavity forms in a tooth, any attached restorations will have to be destroyed in the restorative treatment process, thereby requiring new restorations afterward.
In order to preserve your teeth and their veneers, be sure to engage in positive daily hygiene habits:
- Brush twice daily using fluoride toothpaste
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, replacing it every four mouths
- Floss before you go to sleep or every morning
- Consider the use of an ADA-approved mouthwash
- Avoid sugary foods and snacking between meals
Despite its strength, porcelain is known to chip or crack when put under excessive force or bent in an unnatural way. Patients should therefore take care not to use their teeth for any means outside of regular eating habits. Chewing on one’s fingernails or on other hard objects, for instance, is likely to result in small chips in one’s veneers.
Some patients are particularly at risk of damaging their veneers simply due to habit or lifestyle. For example, playing a contact sport puts one in tangible danger of injury, including injury of the mouth. Sudden trauma can be devastating to dental work, leaving patients with expensive restorative or cosmetic dentistry replacements. If you are involved in any such sport or similar physical activity, consider using a professionally crafted mouthguard for the greatest amount of comfort and protection.
Likewise, patients who suffer from bruxism are more likely to wear down their veneers or crack them. Teeth grinding or clenching is known to damage porcelain veneers while patients sleep, hastening the need for replacement. To prevent this unconscious habit from ruining your smile, consider the use of a night guard, as per your dentist’s recommendation.
Learn More about Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers are an elegant way to improve your smile, and with the right care, they can last for many years without wear or discoloration. Schedule a consultation with us to learn more about any of our cosmetic dentistry services.
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