Living With Your New Veneers: A Six-Step Guide For Success

If you've been living with discolored, chipped, or oddly-shaped teeth for many years, porcelain veneers may feel like the perfect solution. Finally, you have the smile you've always dreamed of, and it was not even painful to achieve! One of the best things about veneers is that they last for decades and don't require any drastic changes in lifestyle. However, there are a few steps you should follow to keep your veneers and the teeth behind them in top shape.

1. Don't Smoke

Porcelain veneers are a lot less likely to stain than the enamel on your teeth, but smoking tobacco can eventually discolor them. It can also deepen the color of the teeth behind your veneers, causing it to shine through the veneer and be more noticeable. Avoid tobacco smoke at all costs. If you are currently a smoker, it's time to take quitting seriously. Talk to your doctor about prescription medications to help you quit or enroll in a support group. Do whatever it takes.

2. Use Thin Dental Floss

Although porcelain veneers are strong, there have been cases of patients breaking or cracking the veneers when flossing. You must continue flossing between your teeth to reduce the risk of tooth decay. However, you will want to do so gently and use thin, waxed floss to avoid putting too much pressure on the veneers in the process. Some patients also find that dental picks, which have little pieces of floss strung between two pieces of plastic, are easier to use with veneers.

3. Don't Open Packages With Your Teeth

Chip bags and plastic clamshell containers can be really tough to open, but using your teeth to open them is a bad move. This is true even when you don't have veneers since it can chip your teeth. However, the veneers are even more likely to chip or break off when you use them to open a container. If you often find yourself without a good way to open packaging, get into the habit of carrying a pocket knife with you.

4. Limit Your Intake of Red Wine, Coffee, and Dark Beer

Like cigarettes, these liquids can discolor the veneers over time, and they can also darken the teeth behind and around the veneers. It's okay to have red wine, dark beer, or coffee on special occasions, but don't make these beverages your go-to choices. Expand your palate by trying some white wines, switch from coffee to green tea, or develop a love for lighter-toned lagers. 

5. Get Your Veneers Polished

Make sure you see your dentist at least once a year to have your veneers polished. Some dentists will do this during a regular dental cleaning. The polishing procedure will keep the veneers shining bright, and it also makes them less prone to staining. This is also a good opportunity for your dentist to look over your veneers for any chips or other damage that may need to be repaired.

6. Wear a Mouthguard During Sports

If you play sports, especially contact sports like football, make sure you wear a mouthguard when you're playing. You don't have to get hit in the mouth very hard to chip a veneer or free it from your tooth! You should wear a mouthguard even if you are just practicing or playing recreationally. Most pharmacies sell sports mouthguards that are perfectly suited to this use.

Follow the tips above to keep your teeth and veneers in perfect shape. You love the new look these dental appliances give you, so why not take care of them so they can continue smiling back at you?

For more information on taking care of your veneers, contact a clinic like Pembroke  Pines Dental.