It isn’t always possible for everyone to enjoy a bright and shiny smile. Genetics, unfortunate accidents and poor oral hygiene can often cause wide gaps in between teeth, as well as serious chips and cracks on the surface of teeth. When these problems go untreated, many people often end up with a lot of unneeded anxiety, embarrassment, and a very troubled social life. Thankfully, these problems can easily be solved using dental veneers.
Dental veneers are quite different from dentures or false teeth. Whereas dentures are made to replace lost teeth, veneers are used to repair and fill in cracks, chips, and stains on teeth. Many dentists also use veneers as an alternative to dentures when treating diastema in patients.
The American Dental Association (ADA) defines veneers as thin, custom-made shells designed to cover the front side of teeth. They aren’t as easy to remove or replace as braces or dentures since they need to be placed over a portion of enamel removed by your dentist. Although veneers can become chip and cracked, they can still last a very long time as long as you maintain them properly. Here are some helpful tips for living life with brand new dental veneers.
1. Watch What You Bite
Dental veneers can and do break when they are at the receiving end of enough heavy force. It’s best not to bite too much hard or brittle food, such as steaks, apples, and hard candy. If you can’t remove hard food from your diet, you should try gently biting off the sides or chewing with teeth that don’t have any attached veneers.
You should also remember that teeth aren’t meant to be substitutes for a good pair of scissors! To prevent any serious damage to your dental veneers, avoid biting plastic bags, sewing thread, your own nails, and anything else that isn’t edible.
2. Know What Type Of Veneers You Want
Dental veneers can be made from either porcelain or composite resin. Porcelain veneers are very durable and natural-looking, as well as resistant to stains. However, they usually need to be applied in more than one dental visit since they need to be specially molded and fabricated for your teeth, and they aren’t easily removable. Composite veneers aren’t as expensive as their porcelain counterparts, and they can be applied right away. Although composite veneers aren’t as strong as porcelain, they can easily be removed or repaired if needed.
3. Expect Some Tooth Sensitivity
Since your dentist will need to extract enamel in order to apply your dental veneers, your teeth might become more sensitive to extreme temperatures and certain food. Don’t worry, this sensitivity should go away after just a few days. In the meantime, it’s best to avoid food that can aggravate pain, such as sticky and hard food, and to avoid exposing your teeth to anything too hot or cold for comfort.
4. Don’t Forget Proper Dental Hygiene
The best way to care for your veneers is to simply practice proper brushing and flossing habits. A good toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, and mouthwash are all the tools you need to keep your veneers clean and free of any damage. Do remember to avoid using hard toothbrushes and abrasive products as they can cause scratches and other serious damage to your veneers. As long as you brush twice a day and floss regularly, you won’t need to worry about your veneers at all.
5. Always Visit Your Dentist
You’ll need to keep in touch with your dentist if you want your veneers to stay in shape. He or she can thoroughly check for any signs of wear-and-tear and repair any damage as soon as possible. You should also follow any lifestyle changes your dentist will prescribe, such as avoiding tobacco and certain food, to ensure that your veneers don’t need to be replaced too soon.
6. Avoid Grinding Your Teeth
Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, causes damage to tooth enamel. If you have a habit of grinding your teeth unconsciously, your veneers might not last very long. You can mitigate any serious damage by lessening grinding habits and using a mouthguard while you sleep.
7. Use Alcohol-Free Mouthwash
Mouthwash made with alcohol is very abrasive. Using it every day can weaken the bonding agent for your veneers and lessen its durability. Try gargling with alcohol-free mouthwash instead. Its ingredients are gentler and much safer for your veneers, and it won’t cause any serious damage to your teeth and gums.