Your Past Matters
The first thing to keep in mind is whatever caused the need for your veneers in the first place. Sometimes it’s genetics, and there’s not much you can do about that. But there are many other causes of enamel deterioration and discoloration:
- Excessive smoking and drinking (e.g., red wine, coffee)
- Poor dental care
- Tooth trauma (e.g., car accident, night-time grinding)
Have a conversation with your dentist about all these and any other factors your dentist wants you to address. He or she should have some helpful recommendations for new habits that will keep your new teeth looking new for a long time.
Chew on This
Veneers may look and feel permanent, but the bottom line is they are bonded add-ons to your teeth. So, if you have the bad habit of chewing on your nails, your pen or anything else not intended for mastication, you’re upping the odds of chipping your veneers.
Step 1? Be cognizant of this. Step 2? Chew sugarless gum or keep some healthy nuts or grapes at your desk. If that doesn’t help, consider having someone you spend a lot of time with chip in (no pun intended). Your bite buddy can be that person who lets you know you’re unnecessarily chewing on something again. Habits are hard to break, but veneers aren’t. So don’t be shy about getting help.
If you play sports or grind your teeth at night, your veneers are likely to chip. Make sure you are wearing a mouthguard at night and at play. The minor nuisance in your mouth is something you can get used to. The constant breaking of veneers is not.
Time to Shine
Most dental care regimens involve a visit to the dentist twice a year, with a polishing at the end of the cleaning that is considered optional. With your veneers, you should consider seeing your dentist three times a year, with a polishing at the end of the cleaning each time. Your insurance may or may not cover the third cleaning, so ask your dentist to keep that third cleaning to the basics. Make sure the extra services your dentist recommends happen in a way that won’t chip your pocketbook unexpectedly.
We probably will sound to you like a broken record, but in the hopes of keeping your veneers unbroken and unstained, here goes nothing. Floss daily. Brush your teeth (gently and thoroughly) at least twice daily with a non-abrasive toothpaste, and avoid an excess of things like red wine, coffee, hard candies, etcetera … you know the drill.
But if not following those basics got your teeth to the point where you needed veneers, it’s time to make some real and lasting changes. We’re here to help you get that real smile back, and we’ll be here to help you make it last, too.