Nothing says confidence quite like a beautiful smile. While underlying that smile may be the application of natural-looking porcelain veneers to enhance the layout and coloring of teeth, no one needs to know that but you. Transforming your smile into one you love is personal, and everyone around you will take notice.
Yet, all too often, you may be hindering your beautiful porcelain veneers by making everyday mistakes. You may even be unaware that certain actions you take are detrimental to maintaining their appearance.
What are Porcelain Veneers Exactly?
Your porcelain veneers are thin coverings or shells your dentist bonds over the top of imperfect teeth, creating a straighter, more aligned, and whiter result. These durable, natural-looking shells help you create the smile you want and can include one, two, or multiple teeth at a time.
Essentially, these veneers can change the color, shape, and size of your teeth. They are an investment in your appearance for the long term, so making the most of them and properly caring for them is essential.
5 Mistakes That May Be Hindering Your Beautiful Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers are agreeably one of the best cosmetic solutions for transforming a smile into one you enjoy sharing. So, naturally, you’ll want to take care of them and increase their longevity. Yet mistakes happen, and these can hinder your veneers by affecting their appearance and usefulness.
Here are five mistakes, in particular, to recognize and correct before it’s too late.
1. Poor or Limited Dental Hygiene
Poor or limited dental hygiene is the biggest mistake to make when it comes to maintaining your smile. Neglecting teeth and gums can lead to problems and, in turn, can also affect your veneers.
For instance, it’s possible to develop cavities on the natural tooth underneath the veneers. These cavities can be the result of poor dental hygiene practices, such as failing to regularly brush and floss your teeth. Decay develops around or underneath the veneer and is often due to trapped sugars from your diet. Treating these cavities can be much more difficult for your dentist.
The appearance of gum disease can also hinder your porcelain veneers. Receding gum lines caused by the gum disease can damage them and affect your smile.
If you are unsure how to properly care for your veneers, ask your dentist or dental hygienist for guidance. Meanwhile, be sure to brush twice daily, floss, and schedule regular cleanings and dental exams. During these professional cleanings, any built-up tartar will be removed, keeping cavities at bay.
Also, stay away from abrasive toothpastes, including those for whitening. Whitening toothpastes are typically abrasive and can remove the glazing that coats porcelain veneers, dulling their appearance. In addition, whitening toothpastes can change the color of the teeth surrounding your veneers and affect your look.
2. Hard and Sticky Foods
While porcelain veneers are nearly as strong as natural tooth enamel, they can still crack, break, and slip if you eat certain things, such as sticky or hard foods.
Sticky foods contain sugar that can stay behind, adhering to the veneers or building up on the teeth behind them. Such foods may also loosen the bonding that holds the veneers in place against your teeth.
Make it a habit to avoid sticky or hard candies, ice cubes, nuts, hard pretzels, and other similar foods.
3. Tobacco Usage
Smoking, chewing, or vaping with tobacco can significantly harm your porcelain veneers in more ways than one.
While the veneers are mostly stain-resistant, the composite bonding material is not. Tobacco can stain that composite material, making the areas and edges surrounding the veneer appear brown or yellow.
Also, the chemicals involved with chewing or smoking tobacco can damage your gums, leading to gum disease. The resulting receding gums will create a gap between your veneers and the edges of your teeth. They can also cause your veneers to fail.
4. Using Teeth as Tools
It can be so convenient to use your teeth as tools and accomplish quick goals without much thought. Yet, if you wear porcelain veneers, you want to consciously avoid this as much as possible.
While veneers are durable, just like your natural tooth enamel, they can commonly chip, crack, or break when using your teeth for things not intended by nature.
So, instead of using your teeth to tear open a package, which can potentially loosen your porcelain veneers or damage the surface appearance, take an extra minute to locate a pair of scissors.
Try to avoid biting your fingernails, which can also harm your veneers. Carry clippers with you everywhere or keep them where you can easily retrieve them for use anytime.
You’ll definitely also want to avoid opening bottle caps with your teeth, no matter how cool it looks to your buddies.
5. Failing to Wear a Mouth Guard as Needed
You may already have a mouthguard provided by your dentist or may not even realize you need one. If you do have one, follow the recommendations of your dentist to ensure protection of your teeth and also your veneers.
Failing to wear a mouthguard whenever participating in sports or other types of activities puts you at a higher risk for damaging your teeth and your porcelain veneers. Work with your dentist to obtain a custom-fitting mouthguard and learn how to care for it when not in use.
If you grind your teeth at all during the night, a condition known as Bruxism, wearing a nightguard can also provide protection. The damage created by grinding and clenching can lead to the development of tooth decay and damage to both the veneers and the bonding agent.
The key to remember is that although porcelain veneers are strong and highly durable, you can still damage them in subtle ways.
Learn More About Porcelain Veneers by Contacting Stiles Dental Care Today
If you already have porcelain veneers or are currently considering them as a way to improve your smile, you can count on Dr. Stiles and his team at Stiles Dental Care to provide you with the service and understanding you need. Contact our Medford, NJ office today to schedule an appointment.