Dental veneers are artificial tooth segments that are bonded onto the front of a natural tooth to correct cosmetic defects. Veneers can cover up severe staining, large chips, or minor size differences between teeth. Typically made of porcelain, veneers have less of a staining risk than other cosmetic dentist options such as the resin-crafted dental bonds. However, veneers still do need some extra special attention in your oral healthcare routine to help ensure the veneer stays looking healthy for as long as possible.
Ask your cosmetic dentist for any specific oral health instructions for your particular situation. But here are a few general oral health tips to help protect your new dental veneer or veneers.
Soft Toothbrush, Gentle Toothpaste
You want to avoid any abrasive oral health products that could mar and erode the surface of the porcelain. Use a soft bristled toothbrush and toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth to prevent porcelain damage.
Avoid any mouthwash or toothpaste that has whitening ingredients. For one, the whitener won't work on the porcelain even if the veneer did become stained. The abrasive whitening chemicals also run the risk of damaging the porcelain, which ironically makes the veneer more likely to stain in the future.
You can use floss between your teeth but use a gentle hand around the veneer so as not to wear down the sides.
No Mindless Chewing
Porcelain veneers are designed to withstand the repetitious force of normal chewing. But mindless, habitual chewing of hard items such as ice cubes, pen caps, or cough drops can speed up the chewing related damage that your veneer suffers.
Break these mindless chewing habits for the greater good of your natural and artificial teeth. If you find that you need to chew on something to relax, look for something softer to use such as a sugarless gum or soft candy.
Get a Mouth Guard for Grinding
Teeth grinding is another habit that can expose your veneer to far greater bite force damage than typical chewing, which can lead to a much shorter lifespan for the veneer. If you grind your teeth, visit your dentist or orthodontist for treatment.
The most common treatment is a fitted mouth guard that you wear at night. The mouth guard is essentially a tight rigid retainer that keeps your upper and lower teeth separated so that grinding or clenching isn't possible.
Your dentist might also order behavioral or physical therapy to teach you relaxation strategies so that you don't clench your teeth as often in your sleep or during times of stress.
To learn more, contact a cosmetic dentist like Wallington Dental.
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