At South Charlotte Dentistry, we’re excited for the holiday season and upcoming New Year. To our patients with temporary or permanent veneers, we have a few tips and tricks to ensure that your smile is protected against any potential holiday mishaps.
What are veneers?
Dental veneers are custom-made, long-lasting thin porcelain shells created by dental lab technicians. Veneers permanently bond to your natural tooth. The porcelain shade can be chosen to match the color of your natural teeth, or to whiten the appearance of your smile. The translucence of porcelain veneers ensures a great color match to the natural color of your tooth enamel. Dental technology has made the new types of porcelain stronger and more reflective and light, so that veneers are nearly identical to natural dental enamel. Veneers can be used to fix a few teeth or an entire smile.
How are veneers used?
Veneers are a cosmetic fix to cover up dark stains, to close gaps in your teeth, or to restore chipped and broken teeth. Veneers can create a uniformly colored and shaped smile.
What foods to avoid with temporary veneers
If you’re awaiting your permanent veneers over the holidays, you’ll need to stick to softer foods and avoid foods that can harm your recently prepped teeth.
- Tough meats
- Toasted, crusty, or tough bread
- Raw vegetables
- Raw fruits
- Pigmented drinks like coffee, tea, soda, and wine
- Chewing gum
Best foods to eat with temporary veneers
If you’re awaiting your permanent veneers over the holidays, you’ll need to stick to softer foods. We would recommend the following to our patients with temporary veneers:
- Mashed potatoes
- Canned foods
What foods to avoid with permanent veneers
Veneers can still be stained like a natural tooth. The stains that veneers are subject to are called extrinsic stains, and that means that any stains occurring is only on the outside of the veneer and are mainly from consuming certain foods and drinks, or smoking.
We also recommend trying to drink staining drinks through a straw as much as possible to avoid staining the veneers. Alcohol intake should also be limited, as it can damage the bonding materials.
Patients that experience heat and cold sensitivity on their teeth normally may have increased sensitivity in the days following the placement of permanent veneers as well.
- Red wine
- Deep-colored berries (e.g. blackberries, raspberries, blueberries)
- Acidic foods and drink (lemonade, citrus products)
- Red peppers
If you have veneers, you should also be careful of foods that can harm your veneers (and your natural teeth!) that may cause chips and cracks.
- Raw veggies (we’re looking at you, festive holiday veggie trays)
- Raw fruits
- Hard candy (e.g. Candy Canes, Peppermints, etc.)
- Chewing on ice
- Chewing gum
- Popcorn kernels
- Hard nuts
- Tough meats/jerky
Best veneer tips to remember this holiday season
- Clients with veneers should still go to their dentist to have their teeth cleaned regularly. Your dentist will clean the veneers alongside your natural teeth, allowing the veneers to look brand new again. Aside from these regular cleanings and dental visits, veneers require no special maintenance.
- Rinse your mouth with plain water immediately after consuming dark liquids or berries, and then brush your teeth half an hour later. You want to reduce the amount of time that pigmented substances remain in contact with your teeth and veneers, which reduces the likelihood of staining them.
- Use a straw whenever possible! Break out the festive tumblers and stainless steel straws this season, and guard your teeth against straining. You’ll thank us later when you have a bright white smile in holiday photos, rather than wine-stained teeth and lips.
- Drink more water during the holidays. Water increases your saliva flow, which helps not only guard your mouth against bad bacteria but keep your teeth and gums healthy. Plus, it’s easy to forget to drink water during the rush of the holidays. Drinking water can help offset whatever sugary treats, foods, and drinks you consume as you celebrate the holidays.
- Make it a habit to cut your food into smaller pieces and carefully chew your food all the way through. Doing so will reduce the amount of stress that your veneers (and natural teeth) are exposed to. If there are tougher meats or bread you can’t resist eating, then cutting them into smaller pieces will reduce the risk of damaging your teeth. Also, cutting food into smaller pieces while eating will have you chewing with your back teeth that are designed for the task, rather than your front teeth (which are most popularly where veneers are placed for aesthetic reasons) that face more dangerous bites into tougher foods that can chip or break your veneers.
- Do not use your teeth to open or tear packages. When you have veneers, remember that you need to use youth teeth for eating, and not as a tool! Do not chew on your nails or other non-food objects. Sure, it’s tempting to tear open a bag of chips or rip a ribbon rather than search for a pair of scissors, but veneers are not designed to withstand the force of biting or chewing on non-food objects. This is the most common cause of damage to veneers!
What if my veneers are chipped or cracked during the holidays?
A chip in a veneer can typically be repaired, but if the whole veneer cracks, then you may need the entire veneer to be redone and replaced. Unfortunately, we see most chips and cracks on the front teeth from improper biting or chewing. There’s nothing worse than a broken front tooth on the holidays, which would not be fun for eating or for seeing your friends and family!
A chipped veneer or a veneer that falls off is not a dental emergency. Your natural tooth is not in immediate danger from the damage to the veneer. You may experience increased sensitivity to hot and cold until your dentist can replace or buff out the veneer, but otherwise, your tooth will be perfectly safe.
If your veneer chips, examine where on the tooth the veneer chipped off – the chipped veneer may have caused some sharp edges that can be hazardous to your tongue or lips. Dental wax is sold at any pharmacy or big box store and is a great temporary solution to cover the affected sharp area. Once you can make it to the dentist, your dentist might be able to buff around the sharp edges to eliminate the evidence of a missing chip and ease any discomfort. This may also result in needing to reshape your surrounding teeth to ensure symmetry and uniformity.
If your entire veneer comes off, carefully remove it, wrap it in tissue, and store it carefully somewhere you won’t lose or break it (e.g. a plastic baggie, an empty medicine bottle). Your dentist may be able to reattach the veneer without the need for molding and creating a new one.
If you experience any issues with your veneers during the holidays, give us a call and we will have your smile back to normal in no time.
Interested in gifting yourself a new, beautiful smile this year? Talk to your team at South Charlotte Dentistry about dental veneers!
How are veneers applied and how long does it take?
Your South Charlotte Dentistry team will consult you about your smile’s needs and goals, and, from there, create a treatment plan. We will conduct a thorough dental exam to determine the state of your current oral health. Conditions like gum disease, teeth grinding, or teeth clenching must all be addressed and treated before veneers can be considered. Extreme teeth grinders may be ineligible for veneers.
Receiving dental veneers typically takes 1-2 appointments, with each appointment lasting about an hour. If we determine that you are a good candidate for veneers, we’ll schedule you for impressions. During your first appointment, the goal is to prep your teeth and take an impression to fabricate the porcelain shells. Prepping teeth for veneers is typically a painless procedure, where your dentist must create a small amount of space on the front, bottom, and sides of your tooth, shaping your tooth by removing a thin layer of enamel (usually around a millimeter). This ensures that veneers can be bonded to the tooth without appearing unnatural, and helps the veneer to fit correctly. While you can expect minimal discomfort during the preparation stage, your dentist at South Charlotte Dentistry can always numb the tooth area; your comfort is our priority!
If you’re only getting veneers on one or two teeth, then you will want your veneers to match the rest of your smile. In this case, you may undergo a professional whitening treatment on your teeth to improve the color of your teeth before the placement of the veneers. Talk to your dentist about color-matching options, and what your end goal is for your smile.
After the tooth is prepared, the patient will wear temporary veneers held on by removable glue to cover the teeth while the permanent veneers are made. During this time, patients should be careful to avoid hard foods, chewing, or excessive force on their temporary veneers. This includes toning down your dental routine. With the temporary veneers on, you’ll want to brush your teeth very gently. The temporary veneers will protect the teeth that have just been prepped for the permanent veneers, as well as give the patient an idea of what their smile will look like once the entire procedure is complete!
Once the veneers are made and ready to be applied, the patient will return to South Charlotte Dentistry to have them attached permanently. You will then be free to enjoy your new, beautiful smile! Your new veneers may make your teeth sensitive for a couple of days, making eating and drinking slightly uncomfortable. But this is temporary, and within a few days, you should be back to eating all of your favorite foods and proudly showing off your new smile!
Why should I consider dental veneers?
Veneers are typically a cosmetic fix to smile imperfections, but they can be used in an impressive number of cases. Your dentist might recommend veneers to:
- Make orthodontic adjustments to close gaps and spaces between your teeth
- Whiten stained or discolored teeth, especially if they’re beyond whitening treatments
- Correct irregularly shaped or slightly crooked teeth
- Restore teeth that are broken, chipped, worn, or fractured teeth
- Serve as an alternative to large fillings
How do you care for veneers?
Like many other dental procedures, veneers require afterward that you stay committed to proper oral care and hygiene. Normal dental upkeep like brushing your teeth multiple times a day, flossing, and regular dental visits are required, as well as avoiding food, drinks, and tobacco products that can harm your veneers. Veneers can easily last between 10 and 20 years with proper care and regular dental appointments. For a cosmetic dental treatment, that’s a pretty long time for lasting results!
Why are veneers so popular?
Porcelain veneers are an excellent long-term cosmetic procedure, mainly due to the fact that porcelain is more stain-resistant than your natural tooth enamel so that your smile will be gorgeous for years to come!
Call South Charlotte Dentistry for a consultation today at 704-759-0908.