In a recent episode of Real Housewives of New York, star Sonja Morgan loses a veneer from her tooth (again), this time ripping a cuff link off a man’s shirt with her teeth during a steamy moment. In her characteristically charming style, Sonja brushes it off with humor, but it’s not the first time her glamorous lifestyle has either led to broken veneers or has shown lost teeth. In another episode, she loses a bottom tooth during a tea party, and admits she’s tried reapplying it several times with Polydent with no real lasting success.

closeup of a woman's shinny lipsWhether you’re a celebrity in the limelight losing teeth glamorously or not, basic care still applies in order to ensure your porcelain veneers last a long time. Typically, porcelain veneers will last an average of 10 to 15 years. You can help increase the lifespan of your porcelain veneers through proper care and maintenance in order to maintain their appearance and functionality.

How to Properly Care For Your Porcelain Veneers

Just like with real teeth, practicing good oral hygiene is key to prolonging the life of your porcelain veneers. While the porcelain veneers themselves don’t decay, the veneers don’t cover your entire natural tooth, so some areas are still exposed. Maintaining the overall health of your mouth is paramount in order to avoid decay to the exposed tooth’s enamel. We recommend you brush twice a day and floss once a day, with a non-abrasive toothpaste and a soft toothbrush. Using a hard bristle toothbrush and abrasive toothpastes can damage the polish on your veneers.

Gum disease is a culprit to ruining the look of your porcelain veneers by making the gums recede, which may then expose the top edges of your veneers, marring the appearance of your smile. By following the guidelines above, you also reduce your risk of gum disease.

Also of critical importance, especially if you have porcelain veneers, is to never skip your six-month check-up. Regular inspection of your veneers allows us to assess the condition of your veneers and repair any issues before they become larger problems.

A Matter of Habit

It’s important to reassess your habits once you have porcelain veneers in order to avoid damaging them. Here is a list of behaviors to avoid in order to keep your smile beautiful longer.

Don’t Chew on Hard Objects: While porcelain veneers are very durable, they are not as strong as your natural teeth. Chewing on hard objects like pens, ice and even fingernails can lead to chips in your veneers that later compromise the structure of the veneer itself, causing tooth-wide damage.

Don’t Clench or Grind Your Teeth: Teeth grinding and clenching are never good habits, regardless of whether you have veneers or not. Just like with natural teeth, grinding wears down the teeth, leading to a breakdown in the teeth’s structural integrity, and will undoubtedly damage porcelain veneers. You can be fitted with a night guard to protect your teeth while sleeping, which is when most teeth grinding and clenching occurs.

Avoid Tooth-Staining Food and Drink: Try to avoid coffee, tea, and sodas, and when you do drink these liquids, try using a straw to minimize contact with your teeth. While porcelain veneers are rather stain resistant, the bonding agent used to cement the veneers to the teeth is not. This might lead to the edges of your veneers appearing darkened or yellow, which never looks good.

And finally, remember to never use your teeth as tools to pry objects loose, especially men’s cuff links.

Sonja admitted on her Facebook feed that her dentist wasn’t too upset at the damage done, since her laminates needed repairing prior to the cuff link incident. She’s now getting a proper dental implant for the errant bottom tooth as well, which goes to show that fame and fortune don’t negate the need for proper porcelain veneer care and overall healthy habits to keep a radiant smile.

If you want to learn more about porcelain veneers and how they can help you get and maintain the perfect smile, please call (845) 627-7645 for an appointment with a Rockland County cosmetic dentist at B & D Dental Excellence in West Nyack.