Our dentist can completely transform the shape, position, and color of your teeth with dental veneers. Veneers can give you a new, gorgeous smile when Dr. Debora Bolton bonds these thin, tooth-colored shells over the front surface of your teeth.

Cosmetic procedures like dental veneers make a lot of changes, and you need to maintain your veneers in order to keep them looking their best. Our dentist has years of experience in this field and offers several tips on how you can care for your dental veneers.

Home-Care After Dental Veneer Preparation

After removing small amounts of tooth tissue, we will send an impression of your teeth to a dental lab where your porcelain veneers while be created. It takes about two weeks for the lab to produce your veneers, so we will place temporary ones over your teeth during this time.

Temporaries are only used for you to provide feedback about how they alter your smile’s appearance. If there is something you do not like about these veneers, then please let us know, so we can inform the lab of any changes you want made to the permanent veneers.

Please be very careful with your temporary veneers, because that is exactly what they are, temporary. They are only designed to last for a couple of weeks, so they can be fragile. Additionally, the cement used to bond them to your teeth is not as strong as the permanent dental cement. Try to avoid biting down on foods with your front teeth. Also avoid chewing on hard or sticky foods and objects like peanut brittle, popcorn kernels, , ice, and fingernails. You may only want to eat soft foods while you wait for the permanent veneers’ creation. Once these are placed, you can start your normal diet once again.

Some of the alterations the veneers create is a change to your bite. This may feel awkward for a few days while your brain tries to adjust to the change. Your speech may also be affected during this time, but it will improve as you adapt to the new feel of your teeth. However, if you notice any high spots or problems with your bite once the numbness wears off, then please call our office so we can make adjustments to your veneers.

You may have sore or swollen gums after the placement of your dental veneers. You can relieve this discomfort by taking mild, over-the-counter pain relievers or by gently rinsing your mouth three times a day with a warm, salt water rinse. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water in order to create this rinse.

Though veneers are resistant to discolorations, they are still subject to stains if you take certain foods, drinks, and other substances in excess. Tobacco products can stain veneers with a yellowish-brown color very quickly, whether you smoke or chew the tobacco. If you eat or drink foods or beverages like, berries, red wine, coffee, and tea, then brush and rinse your teeth afterwards to prevent staining. Additionally, avoid soda and acidic foods because they can de-bond your veneers from your teeth.

If your temporary veneers come loose from your teeth, then try to carefully put them back in place and then call our office at 919-381-5900 so we can re-cement them. If a temporary veneer does fall off completely and you cannot see us right away, then mix a small amount of petroleum jelly with either baking soda, baking powder, or flour. Line the back of the temporary veneer with this mixture and then place it against the tooth with enough pressure to let your bite come together. You can also use the temporary dental cement they sell at the drug store.

Remember that cleaning away plaque bacteria is important for your gum health and in helping the temporary veneer to maintain its position during the next two weeks. Brush your teeth gently with a soft-bristle toothbrush and rinse your mouth with mouthwash.

Home-Care For Permanent Dental Veneers

In order to help your dental veneers to last longer, you should take excellent care of them at home. We suggest avoiding frequent alcohol consumption, because it can dissolve the bonding cement that holds the veneer to the tooth. After a couple of years, the cosmetic dental work could be completely ruined from alcohol. You may also want to avoid using mouthwashes containing alcohol.

Regular toothpaste may be too harsh for the dental veneers, so we recommend using Rembrandt® toothpaste. This type of toothpaste is very gentle, removing stains by dissolving them rather than rubbing them away with harsh abrasives. The abrasives this toothpaste does contain are made of aluminum oxide, which are very gentle and safe for dental work.

Do not bite down on hard objects like pins, nails, and staples. We also suggest that you stop a grinding habit, and if you grind your teeth at night, then invest in a night guard to protect your smile. If you regularly play sports, then wear an athletic mouth guard to prevent damage to your teeth and veneers.

Remember to brush your teeth twice a day and floss them once a day. Though veneers do not develop decay, the exposed portions of your teeth still can. Keeping your smile clean will protect your teeth and support the life of your veneers. You should also watch how frequently you snack, because food contributes to the plaque buildup that causes decay. Try to eat only three meals a day with a couple of snacks in between.

Professional Care

It is important that you receive routine dental care in order to maintain the health of your smile. However, some professional procedures can damage dental veneers. Please make sure that your dental office knows that you have veneers so they can avoid some of the following procedures:

  • Powerful polishing equipment which creates a stream of sodium bicarbonate that cleans teeth well. However, this equipment can roughen the surface of veneers, making them more susceptible to stains. You may not notice the difference at the end of your appointment, but deterioration can start to show a few weeks later.
  • Hygienists often use pumice to polish the surface of teeth in order to remove the protein pellicle, however, the pumice can scratch veneers and erode the composite holding them to the tooth. In order to polish the veneers, a hygienist should use fine aluminum oxide abrasives.
  • If you receive a fluoride treatment, make sure your dentist uses neutral fluoride and not acidulated fluoride. The latter contains hydrofluoric acid which can etch the porcelain and composite materials of veneers. This not only makes the veneers susceptible to stains, but it can also remove their color.

If a dental team uses an ultrasonic scaler to remove tartar from your teeth, tell them that you have veneers. This tool can chip the margin of veneers, which makes the teeth in that area more susceptible to recurrent decay. If your veneers start to look stained or dull, then there are other polishing techniques specifically designed for cosmetic work that can bring back their shine.