Have you recently had dental veneers fitted? Are you thinking about getting some? In recent years, veneers have become incredibly popular, helping individuals to transform their smiles. Whether it is fixing broken teeth, repairing worn-out teeth, or simply ensuring you have a bright, white smile, they are able to provide a huge array of benefits.
However, one of the most common questions that we are asked by patients is whether they can floss their porcelain dental veneers and use them in the same way as natural teeth. Having veneers fitted can be a big investment, so it is only natural that you want to keep them in the best condition possible.
That is why in this article, we explore some of the most common misconceptions, the issues you might face, and what you can do to keep your dental veneers in the best condition possible.
What are some of the most common misconceptions about dental veneers?
Despite their growing popularity, there are a number of common misconceptions surrounding dental veneers. One of the most common is that you cannot floss after having veneers or dental crowns fitted as it could pull them off. This is not true, though, and flossing should form an essential part of your dental care. While the porcelain will not decay, the neighboring teeth are still very vulnerable, and flossing and brushing will prevent infection and reduce plaque.
Of course, whether you can floss or not is not the only misconception. Other popular ones include:
Veneers are noticeable
This is not true, and dental veneers are designed to fit your mouth, so that they will resemble the shape, size, and color of your natural teeth.
Dental veneers are for cosmetics only
While dental veneers can help to give you the perfect smile, they are not just a cosmetic procedure. They can also help to repair broken or worn teeth, allowing you to eat and chew as normal.
Veneers are painful
Although there may be some discomfort immediately following the procedure, this will quickly subside, and you should not experience any pain.
Veneers take multiple trips to the dentist
Finally, another very common misconception about dental veneers is that they require multiple trips to your dentist. Again, though, this is not true. The vast majority of patients will be able to enjoy their new smile in just one visit!
What are the issues with flossing porcelain dental veneers?
Some people mistakenly believe that you cannot floss with dental veneers, but this is not the case. You should brush and floss in the same way that you would with your natural teeth. However, if you are not able to floss between your veneers, then this is an indication that they are not aligned properly.
In well-fitting dental veneers, the floss should be able to easily go up to the gumline without becoming snagged or caught on anything. If you cannot do this, you should speak to your dentist, as it could lead to gum irritation, disease, and inflammation.
What might cause difficulty when flossing dental veneers?
If you are finding that you are unable to floss in between your teeth, then it is an issue that you should get checked immediately. Most cosmetic dentists will check with floss before you leave their facility, so it is rare to find that you cannot floss.
If you are not able to floss, then there are typically two main reasons why. The first is that the laboratory has not got the measurements correct when making the veneers, and they do not fit your mouth as they should. This is incredibly rare, though.
More commonly, it is down to the bonding technique that your dentist has used, or they have not removed any excess. In order to reduce this risk, a skilled dentist will take a range of precautions, including:
- Priming each tooth with the correct bonding and etching agents.
- Carefully placing the bonding composite in each veneer before pressing it onto the tooth.
- Immediately removing any excess bonding material before they begin the hardening process.
- Using an ultra-small curing light on the center of each tooth.
- Carefully flossing between each tooth to remove additional excess and ensure that the surface of the tooth is completely smooth.
- Curing the remaining composite materials with a larger device to guarantee a solid and secure attachment.
- Using a fine polishing strip between each tooth to further smooth them out.
How to safely floss your porcelain dental veneers
When it comes to flossing your dental veneers, then it is important that you are being careful and are flossing gently. Slide the floss between your teeth and carefully wrap it against another tooth so that you can create a C-shape around the side of the veneer.
When you have done that, carefully rub the floss up and down the side of your veneers, allowing it to moderately slip under the edge of your gums. Move on to the next tooth and repeat the process until you have flossed between every tooth.
What else can you do to care for your dental veneers?
While flossing should form an essential part of your oral health routine, in order to keep your dental veneers in the very best condition possible, there are some other top tips to remember:
1) Brush regularly
Brushing is one o the most important things that you can do. Using a manual or an electric toothbrush twice a day will remove plaque and bacteria and keep your veneers and teeth in the best condition possible.
2) Avoid grinding your teeth
Bruxism is a very common condition and is where individuals grind or clench their teeth at night. This can place a lot of stress on your teeth, which can cause them to crack and wear down faster than they should.
3) Chew wisely
While dental veneers are incredibly strong, they can still chip or break, so you should avoid chewing hard items such as pen lids or hard candy.
4) Protect them
If you regularly play contact sports, then you should make sure that you are protecting your smile before every game or training session. Investing in a mouth guard will reduce the risk of damage, ensuring your smile remains bright and beautiful.
5) Regularly visit your dentist
You should try to visit your dentist at least once a year, but for the very best oral hygiene, you should ensure that this is once every six months.
Guaranteeing a perfect smile
Maintaining high levels of oral hygiene is essential when you have dental veneers. Flossing should form a vital part of that and will help you to remove plaque and bacteria build-up, reducing the risk of disease and further complications further down the line.