Porcelain veneers help to recreate the look of natural teeth, while providing strength and protection to the underlying tooth surface. With gentle use, porcelain veneers can last a lifetime. However, normal wear and tear can result in gradual damage to the porcelain, giving them an average life expectancy of 10 to 15 years. During this lifespan, it’s important to keep your porcelain veneers clean and hygienic. Here’s a few tips on how to properly clean and care for your porcelain veneers.
1. Brush, floss, and rinse as you would your natural teeth.
While the veneer itself will not succumb to decay, the tooth under the veneer can decay and discolor, affecting the look and hue of the veneer. Even with veneers, you’re still at risk for developing gum disease. Use an ultra-soft manual or electric toothbrush to thoroughly clean your teeth, gently floss, and finish with a mouthwash rinse.
2. Switch to a whitening toothpaste.
When you first get veneers, your dentist will match the veneer color to the rest of your natural teeth. To prevent your porcelain veneers from becoming stained or discolored, brush with a whitening toothpaste. Opt for a non-abrasive toothpaste, or toothpaste with a natural whitener, such as baking soda.
3. Floss with caution to prevent breakage.
Your dentist will likely provide instructions on how to brush and floss to prevent putting too much pressure on the veneer. Using too much force when brushing or flossing can cause the porcelain veneer to chip or crack. Ask your dentist about the best technique for brushing and flossing.
4. Limit exposure to tooth-staining foods and drinks.
Soda, coffee, tea, wine, and other tooth-staining goods should be kept to a minimum. If you do consume these types of foods or drinks, be sure to brush soon after to avoid staining. If you cannot brush, rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash.
5. Avoid cigarettes and tobacco products.
Not only are cigarettes and tobacco products bad for your overall health, they can also reduce the lifespan and beauty of your porcelain veneers. These items contain nicotine, which can quickly turn your white veneers yellow.
In addition to following these home care tips, you should also visit your dentist at least every six months for a checkup and cleaning. During this visit, your dentist will examine the condition of your porcelain veneer and make any adjustments as needed. For more information about porcelain veneer care, contact your cosmetic dentist.