Americans may have unrealistic definitions of beauty, but that certainly doesn’t keep millions from attempting to achieve the perfect smile. Cosmetic dentistry provides multiple options to finally obtain the beautiful smile you want and deserve. Porcelain veneers are the go-to option for celebrity smiles, so it comes as no surprise the procedure is a favorite among millions of Americans. The customized smile makeover solution is an investment that can pay for itself multiple times during its lifespan. However, while porcelain veneers have been proven to last up to 20 years with the right care, studies have shown some patients are lucky to get 6 years out of their investment. Fortunately, there are some simple dos and don’t’s to help you keep smiling for years to come.
What to Do
Keep Track of What You’re Eating. Veneers are forgiving, but they’re not impervious to everything. Certain foods can still stain or dull the materials. And if you eat too much junk food, you could potentially have another problem. As veneers are attached to the tooth, plaque and tartar can still attach to the bonding agents and lead to dental caries and decay.
Develop and maintain excellent oral health habits. You should already have excellent home oral health habits prior to getting porcelain veneers. But if not, they should definitely be developed and maintained after your new procedure is completed. Follow suggestions of the American Dental Association by brushing twice and flossing once every day unless your dentist suggests otherwise.
Schedule regular dentist visits. You should see your dentist at least twice a year, especially when you’ve had any significant work done. But when it comes to porcelain veneers, you may also need to schedule polishing appointments. That will help ensure your veneers stay beautiful and the bonding remains strong so you can continue enjoying your stress-free smile.
What Not to Do
Don’t drink alcohol. Yes, it may be a shock, but those with porcelain veneers need to avoid alcohol. Beyond the obvious health and dental risks from the excess sugar, the acids in alcohol quickly dissolve the bonding material responsible for holding the porcelain shells to your teeth. Even social drinking can be problematic as soon the veneers may be completely unusable.
Don’t bite overly down hard on anything. Porcelain veneers are pretty forgiving and strong, so most foods are acceptable. However, if the food choice will require extra effort from your teeth to eat, consider an alternative option. Either cut the food into smaller bite-sized pieces or opt for a softer food. Also avoid chomping on ice, pencils, and any other hard objects. Biting hard can create cracks or chip the porcelain. And you definitely want to avoid that.
Don’t clench or grind your teeth. When life stress hits particularly hard, bruxism is often the result. Tooth grinding can lead to multiple problems including jaw displacement, worn teeth, and headaches. Porcelain veneers are strong, but they can’t resist the extra strain from consistent clenching and grinding. So if that’s an issue, see your Manhattan cosmetic dentist and at least wear a night guard until the problem is corrected.