Veneers are one of the most common tooth replacement options in the US, especially for front teeth. At least 1 in 6 Americans are missing at least one tooth, which means that millions of people use veneers as replacements.
However, regular veneer maintenance still goes overlooked all too often. Hopefully, we can change that. Let’s talk about cleaning porcelain veneers to keep your smile shining bright!
Why Cleaning Porcelain Veneers Is Essential
Much like any other tooth replacement, veneers require routine maintenance. However, it’s important to keep in mind that they are among the most fragile tooth replacement option.
Veneers are hollow shells made from porcelain. They are not as strong as regular teeth or metal-infused crowns. Here’s why it’s important to maintain them.
While veneers are among the most affordable tooth replacement options, they still aren’t cheap. Taking care of your veneers now can ensure that they last as long as possible. While you may love your dentist, you don’t want to have to visit them all the time!
Over time, your veneers can become discolored. Your veneers are meant to match the color of your existing teeth, so discoloration can make them stand out from surrounding teeth. Veneers are entirely cosmetic, so this can ruin their entire purpose.
Protecting Oral Health
Most importantly, cleaning your veneers protects the overall health of your mouth, which protects your entire body in turn. Oral health is a critical component in preventing heart and arterial disease and plenty of other serious illnesses.
Using veneers without proper treatment will only worsen bacteria production, plaque buildup, gum disease, and more. This will eventually affect other aspects of your health if left unchecked.
Veneers are meant to last for ten years on average, so keeping them clean is essential for your health.
What Can Harm Veneers?
There are many potential ways to damage veneers. First, chewing on hard foods or trauma to the area can lead to cracking. Your dentist will go over the best practices with you when you get your veneers.
However, some foods and beverages can lead to the decay of the porcelain. Excessive acid can lead to decay, which can ruin your veneers over time.
Moreover, the same sugar-eating bacteria that may have caused you to lose a tooth poses a threat to your veneers as well. Therefore, keeping them clean and limiting your sugar intake is essential.
If you have existing tooth decay, especially near your veneers, this can pose a threat as well. Visit your dentist for fillings or to address the problem before it begins to harm your veneers.
Also, there are plenty of cosmetic issues to worry about for veneers. For example, excessive consumption of wine, coffee, or tobacco will likely stain your veneers, causing discoloration. Even artificially colored candies or beverages can lead to stains without proper maintenance.
Daily Veneer Cleaning Routine
Trauma, decay, and existing rot all pose a risk to your veneers. Fortunately, it’s much easier to maintain your veneers than it is to fix them later on. Here’s how.
Brush Twice Daily
Don’t overlook your veneers when brushing your teeth. They require the same attention as your teeth on both sides. Regardless of whether or not anyone can see it, poor oral hygiene will decay your veneers.
Floss is arguably one of the most important veneer cleaning tools available. At least once a day, floss around your veneers and other teeth. Plaque buildup will harm your veneers and cause bacteria to multiply faster.
Use an Alcohol-Free Mouthwash
Floss first, brush second, and mouthwash third. Flossing helps get some of the plaque out of the way for your brush. Consequently, brushing helps get the plaque out of the way for your mouthwash.
Use an alcohol-free, antibacterial mouthwash every night before bed to help limit bacterial growth.
Also, try to keep your alcohol consumption to a minimum. Alcohol can deteriorate the bonding in your veneers, which can harm their integrity over time. Occasional drinks are fine, but regular consumption may cause harm.
Avoid Hard Foods
Remember, veneers are hollow and quite fragile. They are cosmetic, not functional teeth, so avoid chewing with them when possible.
This is especially important for excessively hard foods like hard candies, which are sure to break veneers if you bite down on them too hard. If you’re used to chewing on ice or biting hard objects, it’s important to break this habit right away. Even biting your nails could pose a threat to front veneers.
Avoid Grinding or Clenching
Grinding or clenching your teeth can damage or destroy your veneers. If you believe you grind or clench at night, wearing a nightguard can help.
Also, if you notice that you grind or clench during the day, practice mindfulness and try to avoid this moving forward. If you’re unsure whether or not you grind or clench, talk to your dentist. They should be able to recognize signs of grinding or clenching if it’s a regular problem.
Keep Them Clean
While we mentioned your daily routine for cleaning porcelain veneers, there’s one other thing we left out. Make sure you visit your dentist every six months for your routine cleanings, as this is essential for preventing decay later on. From there, simply follow the tips above, avoid hard foods, and keep your veneers clean!
Stay up to date with our latest oral health tips, and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or to schedule an appointment!