How to Take Care of Veneers

If your pearly whites have become stained, discolored, chipped, or broken, don’t despair — there’s a treatment for that. Veneers are extremely thin porcelain or resin shells applied to the front of your teeth that can cover up a world of imperfections.

At the dental office of Dr. William M. Schneider in Walnut Creek, California, we routinely use veneers to restore misshapen, cracked, or stained teeth. 

Dr. Schneider understands these issues can seriously impact your self-confidence, and he works with you to find quick and effective veneer solutions to get you smiling with joy. Here’s what you need to know about veneers and how to take care of them so they last.

Veneers — a common, effective way to restore teeth

Dental veneers are a quick and easy way to improve the look and health of your smile. Bonded to the front surface of your natural teeth, they cover up a world of minor imperfections. And because they’re so thin, you almost don’t know they’re there. 

We have to shave off a small amount off the original tooth surface to make sure the veneers bond properly, but that doesn’t compromise your tooth’s integrity.

Unlike other dental restoration procedures, veneers are purely cosmetic. If you have notable damage to a tooth or multiple teeth, you’re probably better off getting a crown or replacing the entire tooth with an implant.

Veneers are best suited for restoring: 

  • Small chips and cracks
  • Misshapen or crooked teeth
  • Worn-out teeth 
  • Spaces between teeth 
  • Yellowed and/or stained teeth
  • Unusually small teeth

The veneer application process

During your initial consultation, Dr. Schneider talks to you about your aesthetic goals and the different types of veneers, and he identifies the color that blends best with the rest of your teeth.

He usually recommends porcelain veneers, as the material resembles natural teeth the most, and it also resists stains better and lasts longer than resin.

Next, he creates a digital impression of your mouth to use as a reference for the veneers. He then places a temporary cover on your teeth until the veneers are ready. 

Dr. Schneider places the veneers at a second appointment using a strong bonding material that permanently adheres the veneer. It’s simple and completely pain-free.

Taking care of your veneers

Porcelain veneers have a lifespan up to 20 years, but over time, normal wear-and-tear might cause them to chip or break. Dr. Schneider can fix that.

In addition, your mouth can change over time (e.g., gum recession, tooth movement), so the veneers don’t fit the way they used to. Dr. Schneider can adjust or replace them.

How long a veneer lasts is largely due to your habits, and that includes brushing and flossing every day and scheduling twice-yearly visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. You should also keep the following tips in mind.

Avoid consuming dark-colored foods and drinks

You just got the veneers to cover up the stains, so you don’t want to stain them right out of the gate. The worst culprits are red wine, coffee, tea, and dark fruits like blueberries. 

If you really miss these, you can always try to minimize the damage by using a straw to drink with and rinsing your mouth or brushing your teeth after eating or drinking.

Don’t use your teeth as tools

If you need a tool for something, get one — don’t use your teeth as a substitute when you’re opening things like bags or bottles. In addition, chewing on pens or biting your nails can also crack the thin porcelain shells.

Don’t clench or grind your teeth

Clenching or grinding the teeth is damaging to anyone’s mouth, not just those who have veneers. But when you do have veneers, the constant pressure of these activities leads to faster wear. 

Dr. Schneider can fit you with a night guard to use while you sleep to protect your teeth. You may also want to look into some stress management techniques.

Use a mouthguard for sports

Even if your sport doesn’t involve much contact, you should wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth. Any blow to the face could crack your veneers, which would then need to be replaced.

If you’ve got dental imperfections but want a fresh, radiant smile, consider getting veneers. To find out more, call our office at 925-935-2700 or book your consultation online.

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