One of the fastest and easiest ways to improve your smile is by getting veneers – wafer thin shells, typically made of porcelain or composite resin – affixed to the front of your teeth. Veneers can be used to make the teeth appear whiter and fix minor imperfections, like covering stains and hiding small chips, cracks, and improperly spaced teeth. Our Veneer Services Key Takeaway: A Thorough Oral Health Routine After getting your veneers, it’s important to treat them just like you would your natural teeth. This means you should clean your teeth as normal, which includes brushing, flossing and using mouthwash along with visiting your dentist for regular six-month checkups. You should also avoid chewing on objects or biting into ice or other extremely hard foods or candies because you may damage your veneers, resulting in the need for replacements. Learn to properly care for your teeth with our simple caring for teeth guide. Post-Treatment with Temporary Veneers Before you get your permanent veneers, you will receive temporary veneers. These veneers are bonded onto your teeth with a temporary bonding material in order to protect your prepared tooth surface. This is because the process of getting veneers involves removing a small portion of your enamel in order to roughen the surface and help your permanent veneers adhere successfully to the front surface of your teeth. These veneers are worn until your permanent veneers arrive at our office, which typically takes 1-2 weeks. Directly after getting your temporary veneers, you should not eat or drink anything for at least two hours or until the anesthesia has completely worn off and you can move your facial muscles. Since your temporary veneers are bonded to your teeth with dental cement that is designed to be easily removed, we don’t recommend chewy and extremely hard or sticky foods. This includes hard candy, chips, taco shells, nuts, tough meats, fruits and vegetables with hard skins, taffy or caramel-based treats. You should still brush and floss your teeth normally but carefully. This means avoid brushing too hard and flossing carefully. If you have more than one temporary veneer, we recommend a floss threader in order to floss between your teeth. Immediate Aftercare for Permanent Veneers Once you get your permanent veneers, you may notice that your teeth are slightly sensitive to extremely hot or cold foods. This is completely normal and should dissipate after a few days. To help with a sensitive tooth or any pain or discomfort after the procedure, you can take ibuprofen or Tylenol every three to four hours. If your gums are sore or bleeding, we recommend rinsing with a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water, which will help reduce pain and any gum inflammation. You may also notice excess salivation and some minor difficulty speaking. This should dissipate within a few days as your mouth adjusts to having the veneers. If you find that your teeth or gums still hurt after a few days to a week, you should call your dentist for advice and a follow-up appointment. Maintain a Good Dental Routine Veneers made from porcelain are impervious to tooth decay, but your natural teeth reside just behind them and must be properly brushed and flossed in order to avoid tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. This means you will still have to brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush at least twice a day, floss once a day and rinse with an ADA approved non-alcohol mouthwash. We do not recommend using mouthwashes that contain alcohol because, if your veneers are made of composite resin, it can dry out the bonding material and cause your veneers to become loose. Failure to maintain oral hygiene can result in a toothache, receding gums, and the development of gingivitis and periodontal disease. In addition to maintaining your at-home oral hygiene, it’s important to visit your dentist for regular checkups, usually every six months. Regular checkups help catch small cavities and gum disease before they become severe. It also gives you a chance to ask about improved oral hygiene with veneers and have your veneers checked for any problems, like loosening or cracking. Eating & Drinking with Veneers Since your permanent veneers are fixed to your teeth with an extremely durable dental cement, your diet is not as restricted as it was with the temporary veneers. However, you’ll still have to avoid extremely hard foods and candies in order to reduce the risk of cracking and chipping your veneers. For the first few days after you get your veneers, you may want to eat softer foods until your mouth and teeth fully adjust to having the veneers in your mouth. After the first few days, you can eat normally as if you only had your natural teeth in your mouth. However, it’s important to note that the same foods and habits that would damage your natural teeth will also damage your veneers. This means that you should not chew on objects or open packages with your teeth. You should also take care not to eat or drink too many stain-causing foods, like berries, red wine, coffee and tea. This is because veneers can still stain, and they cannot be whitened. You should also limit your intake of alcoholic beverages and be careful when eating raw fruits and vegetables. Learn more about eating and drinking with veneers. How Long Do Veneers Last Veneers can last up to 20 years with proper care. The average expected life of veneers is between 10 and 15 years. If you ever have a veneer that cracks, chips or becomes loose, it must be replaced. Because a portion of enamel was removed when your veneers were first placed, you can’t go back to having just your natural teeth. Learn more about how long veneers really last and how you can preserve them for longer. Veneers and Other Dental Treatments Having braces with veneers We commonly get asked about having braces with veneers. Ideally, orthodontic issues would be treated prior to having veneers fitted. If teeth have shifted since having veneers, then braces are not the best solution since attaching the brackets to veneers can blemish or damage the veneer. Invisalign is a better solution. Invisalign utilizes clear aligners that pose no risks to the veneers. Whitening teeth with veneers Neither porcelain or composite resin respond to whitening products so veneers cannot be whitened. Porcelain is actually very stain-resistant while regular cleanings at your dentist can help to whiten veneers made of dental composite. In many cases, we find that it’s not the veneers that need whitening, but the natural teeth around them that darken and stain at a faster rate. This can cause a noticeable color contrast between veneers and natural teeth. But the answer is a simple whitening of the natural teeth to match the shade of veneers. Other Precautions When you have veneers, you’ll have to take extra precautions with your teeth. This means that if you play sports, remember to always wear a properly fitted mouthguard. If you have bruxism (grinding of the teeth), you’ll need to wear a mouthguard at night while you sleep. This is because grinding your teeth puts excess wear and tear on your veneers. The Risks with Poor Care Taking proper care of your teeth and veneers is essential to make sure you do not experience any unforeseen problems with your veneers, like chipping, cracking and loosening, or the development of a toothache and/or gum disease. If you ever develop gingivitis or periodontal disease, you will need to have it treated promptly. The gums do not fit over the veneers. Instead, the veneers are placed at the gum line, and gum disease can cause your gums to pull away from your teeth and, as a result, the veneers. If the gum disease becomes severe, you may need to have your veneers replaced. To learn more about veneers and how they can help you improve your smile, give our office a call at 832-834-5281 or use our contact form.