Do Dental Veneers Require Special Aftercare?

Although the tooth is covered with a dental veneer, keep in mind that the covering is limited only to the front surface.  Decay can still form on the posterior or back façade of the tooth or under the veneer.  Therefore good oral hygiene is crucial.

Flossing and brushing twice each day is important to remove food debris and particulate matter.  Using a non-abrasive toothpaste containing fluoride is recommended.

Because the porcelain veneer borders the gum line, it is crucial that thorough cleansing with plaque removal is performed to make certain that the gum line surrounding the teeth does not recede.  (This occurs in response to gingivitis or periodontitis- an inflammation of the gum and oral tissues secondary to tartar and plaque.

Don’t tempt staining

While the surface of porcelain veneers are markedly resistant to stains, the cement used to adhere the veneer to the tooth surface can absorb and reflect the stain as time progresses.  Thus, staining visible around the edges or periphery where the veneer meets the actual tooth can mar the aesthetic appearance of the tooth.

Eliminate foods and beverages that stain teeth due to the tannins and chromogens (richly pigmented molecules) which are contained within:

  • Wine
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Tomatoes
  • Berries (black currant, blueberries, pomegranates, cherries) as well as the juice made from them
  • Richly-colored sauces (e.g. soy, curry, tomato sauce)
  • Soda and carbonated beverages

Also eliminate use of tobacco products.  If this is not possible, consider brushing teeth or using a mouthwash after use of the above.

Bruxism

Bruxism is a term for grinding and clenching teeth. This behavior exerts undue, heavy force on the veneers and teeth in general, which places them at a higher risk for chipping or breakage.  Although this clenching behavior while awake can be done by habit, it is often secondary to a response to stress.  This tension should be addressed and treated.  For prevention of dental harm at night secondary to grinding, a plastic night guard (made by the dentist to fit your dentition) should be worn.

Don’t be forceful

In order to protect the durability and length of porcelain veneers, heavy force and sudden impact should be avoided as it is not designed to withstand such pressure.    Often the dentist will design the dental alignment so that biting certain hard objects are unlikely such as:

  • Hair pins
  • Fingernails
  • Ice
  • Bottles
  • Nut shells (e.g. pistachios)

Biting on these objects can result in displacing the veneers or breaking them.

If one participates in body contact sports or activities where getting hit in the mouth are a possibility, wearing a dental guard would be a prudent practice.

Following these precautions will ensure that your veneers last a long time and that your great smile represents you!