What about Aftercare of my Porcelain Veneers?
Nothing is ever quite as smooth or as strong as your natural teeth so your veneers need you to look after them. This is your investment- you need to take extra care to protect it!
Your dentist should discuss aftercare instructions with you once your porcelain veneers have been fitted.
Following these good habits will help to prolong the life of your veneers and your smile for as long as possible.
Is There Anything I Should or Shouldn’t Do?
Once the veneers are cemented in you are pretty much good to go. You can eat, chew and smile as normal pretty much straight away.
If you have been given anaesthetic, it will take a few hours to wear off so just be careful during this period.
Sometimes when you are numb, it is not always easy to get you to bite in your natural position and so the bite on occasions may not be properly adjusted. If after the anaesthetic has worn off, it still feels high, and doesn’t settle down after a few days, pop back to see your dentist and they will polish it down to the correct level.
It is also possible, when the anaesthetic has worn off, that the veneers can feel a little rough in places after bonding-in. Often this smoothes down naturally on its own after a couple of days of normal eating and chewing. Should it continue to be a problem, your dentist will need to smooth it off.
Will I get Pain After the Veneers?
No, Not really. Sometimes you may experience a bit of soreness from around the gum where the margins have been polished, or perhaps a little bit of sensitivity but everything should be back to normal within a couple of days. If you experience any more severe pain or problems you need to make an appointment to see your dentist to check everything is ok.
What Precautions Should I Take in the Future?
Here are some tips I give to my patients, that will help you to protect your veneers:
- Get a night splint if your a grinder. If you grind or clench your teeth you should be wearing one anyway, but if you have had veneers or any major dental work for that matter, it is even more important to get one made (and wear it!). This will avoid you damaging your veneers while you sleep.
- Cut up hard foods such as apples and break off chocolate bars; veneers are not as strong as your natural teeth and you need to take a bit of extra care with them.
- Be careful with bones, pips seeds, nuts etc.
- Do not use your teeth to open anything such as packets or beer bottles (heaven forbid) I am actually shaking my head but know some of you out there do it!
- Do not chew with your front teeth. This may sound a little weird initially when you read it but if you don’t have any back teeth- this is what you will end up doing. Incisors are meant for exactly that- incising food, molars and premolars are for chewing. This may mean restoring your back teeth in order to give you proper chewing surfaces if you don’t have them- ideally this should be planned and completed before having the veneers.
- Avoid biting your fingernails and chewing on hard objects such as pencils or ice.
- Avoid activities such as contact sports, in which your veneers and teeth could be damaged. If the chance of you getting a blow to the face is high (such as with rugby or mixed martial arts), it is often best to wait until you finish playing the sport before considering veneers or extensive cosmetic treatment. A severe blow could catastrophically damage your teeth and require many more thousands of dollars to achieve a satisfactory solution. It simply isn’t worth it! If you do participate in an activity where this could happen at the very least wear a quality dentist- made protective mouth guard.
What about Maintenance?
Nothing new here really, just what you should be doing anyway…
After your veneers have been placed, it is even more important you maintain good oral habits- brushing twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing once in the evening. This will help to avoid tooth decay and gum disease which could compromise the look of your new veneers.
By now most of us know what causes stain to pick up on your teeth, so to keep them looking at their optimum, it is recommended to watch the teas, coffees, red wines, colas and for all you smokers out there- I couldn’t think of a more perfect time to make a fresh start and kick the habit.
Teeth without veneers are even more susceptible to staining, so by doing this you help to keep everything nicely blended in.
- Regular checkups
Regular dental checkups and cleaning are necessary regardless in order to keep your mouth healthy and detect any problems in their early stages. The more work you have done to your teeth, the more important these checks become, as the likelihood of something going wrong increases. This way any early signs of problems can be dealt with before more serious damage is done.