For years, you endured an imperfect smile, and then, one day you discovered a way to overcome your nemesis. You spoke with your dentist about the type of smile that you desired, and he suggested that, based on your situation, and the time frame within which you wanted to see results, that porcelain veneers were the best option. Since having the procedure done, you’ve regained your confidence, but recently, you’ve been bothered by the tooth discoloration you’ve noticed on your veneers. You’re wondering if you can whiten them like normal teeth, but you’re unsure. Thankfully, your dentist in Oklahoma City has some insight to share on the matter.
How Porcelain Veneers Work
Made of dental grade porcelain, veneers are designed to improve your smile and functional issues like small cracks and chips. They are made to closely match the natural color of your teeth and function in the same manner.
At your first visit, the dentist will speak with you, assess your overall facial structure, skin tone, size of features and lip shape. He will also make sure that your bite is correct and functional so that you can have longer lasting veneers. Before leaving, he will secure temporary veneers for you to where while waiting on your permanent set to be crafted.
You will return after a short period of time to have your permanent porcelain veneers secured to your teeth. And just like that, you’ve got a brand-new smile.
How to Care for Your Porcelain Veneers
You will care for your them the same way you do for your normal teeth. That means that proper brushing and flossing are still of paramount importance.
There is one caveat, though, to keep in mind. Whereas your natural teeth can be treated with teeth whitening techniques, your veneers can’t. The resin coating on them doesn’t respond well to whitening. This means that you will have to be more mindful of the types of food and drinks that will stain them.
Food and Drinks to Avoid When Wearing Veneers
Here are some of the food and drinks to avoid when wearing porcelain veneers:
- Coffee – This is a well-known nemesis of white teeth. It contains a substance called tannin that gives it its dark color and also produces its staining effects on your teeth.
- Tea – Although not as detrimental as coffee, tea also contains tannin and can stain your teeth.
- Berries – Berries contain tannins as well, and are capable also of serious staining.
- Tomato Sauce – Just as a tomato sauce stain can be hard to get out of your clothes, it’s difficult to remove from your teeth as well.
It’s best to be informed as to what your limitations are with your porcelain veneers, so that you’ll have a beautiful, bright smile for years to come. By avoiding certain food and drinks, you greatly increase the longevity of their appearance. But, if you can’t live without the items listed, just be sure to keep a toothbrush and floss handy to use right after you eat or drink, so that the particles don’t have time to settle and stain your veneers.
Finally, another way to protect your investment is to be sure to visit your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings and examinations. This will give him a chance to monitor your oral health and veneers, and correct any issues early.
About the Author
Dr. Colin Holman earned his DDS at the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry. He is a member of the American Dental Association, Oklahoma Dental Association, Orthodontic Society, Academy of General Dentistry and Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation. He practices at Dental Expressions and can be reached for more information through his website.