2 Things You Should Never Do If You Have Porcelain Dental Veneers

People who are quite unhappy with the small sizes, uneven edges, or slightly crooked nature of their teeth may decide to speak with a dentist about the placement of dental veneers.  The most natural looking veneers are made from porcelain materials, and you can expect a laboratory to make your customized tooth coverings within one or two weeks.  Your dentist may inform you at the time of placement that the veneers can last 20 years or more.  However, great care is essential to their longevity.  If you want to keep your veneers as long as possible without the need for replacement, read on to find out what kinds of things you should never do once the veneers are bonded in place.

Use Whitening Toothpaste

Generally speaking, porcelain dental veneers resist stains much more effectively than dental enamel does.  Dental enamel will stain due to the tiny holes or openings that sit across the surfaces of the hard and dense material.  Some of these openings will appear in the form of stress cracks.  The cracks are often referred to as craze lines, and you may see these lines in the form of shallow and light cracks across the surfaces of your teeth.  These lines, along with other small enamel openings, collect debris and high-intensity coloring materials found in your foods and drinks.  Many people use whitening toothpastes to remove the stains, and these products usually contain polishing materials, abrasive agents, or chemical compounds that physically remove the debris from the enamel cracks.

Porcelain veneers do not form small cracks and openings like dental enamel does.  Also, porcelain is not nearly as strong or as thick as the enamel.  This means that the substances found in your whitening toothpaste can scratch, scrape, or dull the exterior of your veneers.  The best way to deal with light stains on your veneers is to prevent them from showing up in the first place.  Stop smoking and consider using a straw when you drink coffee, tea, or brightly colored drinks.  This helps to force the fluid over your tongue and towards the back of the mouth without it coming into contact with the veneers.

Professional Whitening Before Veneer Placement

Another good way to keep your teeth looking white for as long as possible is to invest in professional whitening before your veneers are secured.  Many people notice dark colored teeth after veneers are bonded.  However, the discoloration is generally not caused by stains on the veneers themselves.  The stains appear in the natural tooth enamel that sits behind the porcelain coverings.  Porcelain veneers are only about one millimeter thick, and some stains will show through.  Ask your dentist about the best whitening method for your teeth.

Grind Your Teeth

Your dentist will likely tell you that your dental veneers will break or crack in the same way your natural teeth will if you use your teeth as tools or if you bite down hard on ice or hard candies.  Tooth grinding will also place substantial stress on your veneers.  If you suspect that you grind your teeth at night, then speak with your dentist about the creation of a bruxism guard to protect the veneers.  If you are unsure if you grind at night, then consider whether or not you notice any of the following signs:

  • Tight, sore, and weak jaw muscles
  • Unexplained tooth fracturing or cracking
  • Sudden dental sensitivities
  • Cheek sores or scrapes
  • Headaches in the morning that center around the temples

Dental guards will not only reduce discomfort and protect your veneers, but they will also keep your jaw in a relaxed position.  This can help you get a good night's sleep.  Personalized guards are made out of hard acrylic materials and they are formed from a mouth mold so they fit perfectly over your teeth.