Whether necessary to improve a crooked smile or to restore teeth discolored and decayed, veneers are excellent options in cosmetic dentistry. Of course, these porcelain covers for your teeth are an investment in not only your look, but also your self-confidence and underlying dental health. Because of these benefits, you must protect your veneers with proper cleaning and care. Unfortunately, certain habits that may be common are decreasing the strength and look of your veneers. Here are a few common habits you need to break if you want your veneers to last.
Smoking or Chewing Tobacco
Porcelain is resistant to most stains, but smoking or chewing tobacco excessively will discolor your veneers. If you are a habitual smoker or tobacco user, you may cause severe dental issues that can affect your veneers.
Tobacco contains nicotine, which has acidic properties that can affect your oral health. The acids dry out your mouth, decreasing saliva production, which can prevent the mouth from finding away food and harmful bacteria.
In addition, the acidic nature of nicotine can erode the porcelain material over time, increasing the risk of decay of your underlying teeth. This can also lead to gum disease.
Without healthy teeth and gums, your veneers will lack the support they need to last for an extended period of time.
Grinding your Teeth
The constant clenching of the jaw and grinding of the teeth is actually more common than you think. Known as bruxism, an estimated 8 percent of adults grind their teeth at night. This habit can wear down the porcelain to the point where only your natural teeth are visible. Continuous grinding will also erode the natural tooth enamel, increasing your risk of many dental problems.
If you suffer from bruxism and want to protect your veneers, ask your dentist to design a custom mouth guard. This guard can be worn at night, creating a protective layer over your veneers in case you grind your teeth while sleeping.
It is also important to determine the cause of your bruxism. The majority of patients clench their jaw and grind their teeth due to stress and anxiety, so finding healthier options for managing your stress will be beneficial. Exercise and even therapy are both effective for easing stress without the use of medications.
From using tobacco products to grinding your teeth, your veneers may be at risk of serious damage and even failure. To learn about ways to protect the look and durability of your new veneers, ask your cosmetic dentist for further advice.