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Caring for Porcelain Veneers - Greenbelt, MD

Porcelain Veneers After Care Instructions

The durability and stain resistance of porcelain veneers are two big selling points for these cosmetic dentistry solutions, and with proper care, the average traditional porcelain veneers last from 5 to 15 years and minimal prep veneers last from 5 to 10 years. Your oral healthcare routine and dental habits will have a big impact on the longevity of your porcelain veneer restoration, so to protect your investment, it’s important to take the time for great dental care every day, visit our dental office for preventive dental checkups and teeth cleanings twice a year, protect teeth from damage, avoid bad habits that put your smile at risk, and make some minor adjustments to your diet.

Daily At-Home Care

  • The easiest way to keep your porcelain veneers looking great for years to come is to brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once each day. For best results, you can boost your at-home oral hygiene routine by following these tips:
  • Brush for at least two minutes at a time to ensure your thoroughly remove all plaque buildup and food particles from every surface of teeth.
  • Brush systematically to ensure the front, back, and top of each tooth receives equal attention.
  • Use a soft or ultra soft bristled toothbrush and use a gentle brushing motion to avoid damaging your smile’s soft tissues.
  • Brush between meals, if possible, to avoid allowing food to sit on the surfaces of teeth.
  • Make sure to floss both sides of each tooth all the way to the gum line to remove plaque and food stuck between teeth but take care not to damage the soft tissue.
  • Use a waxed floss or an air or water flosser to avoid tugging around the edges of your porcelain veneers.

Twice a Year Dental Exams & Teeth Cleanings

In addition to your daily at-home care, you should also visit your trusted family dentist in Greenbelt, MD twice a year for comprehensive dental exams and thorough, professional teeth cleanings. During these visits, we’ll examine your veneers to ensure they are still firmly in place and functioning flawlessly. We can also address concerns that arise in the early stages when we may be able to repair the veneer rather than needing to replace it.

Protective Oral Appliances

If you’re an athlete, you may want to consider wearing a sportsguard during athletic practices and competitions. Those who compete in contact sports like hockey or football are likely already doing this, but you should really use sports mouthguards to protect your smile during any sport where your smile might come into contact with other players, sporting equipment, or hard surfaces. Store bought options are available, and our dentists can also create comfortable, custom solutions to protect your new porcelain veneers.

Those who grind or clench their teeth during sleep should also use an oral appliance to protect their porcelain veneers. Nighttime teeth grinding and clenching, known as bruxism, can wear down teeth, create deeper pits and grooves in biting surfaces, and expose your smile to risk for dental damage and tooth decay. Wearing a custom mouthguard while you sleep will protect your new porcelain veneers from damaging teeth grinding and clenching.

Bad Habits to Avoid

Finally, you will need to avoid some troublesome dental habits that put you at greater risk for dental damage. If you chew on your fingernails, ice chips, pen caps, or other hard objects when you’re nervous, you may chip your veneer or cause the cement to break down, allowing the veneer to pull away from the tooth. Using teeth to open packages or crack nuts can also lead to possible smile damage. Avoid these habits to keep your smile and porcelain veneers whole and beautiful.

Dietary Changes

You should pay attention when eating with your new porcelain veneers in place. Try to chew hard or sticky foods with your back teeth to avoid placing any unnecessary pressure on your veneers. Even though porcelain veneers are stain resistant, you may still want to limit your consumption of staining foods and beverages (coffee, red wine, berries). These items will discolor surrounding teeth and the cement that holds your veneers in place. Additionally, these highly pigmented foods and beverages are often very acidic. Consumption of acidic foods and beverages can increase your risk for a whole range of oral health concerns.