It's no secret that cosmetic dental care can greatly improve your smile and help with self-confidence. Dental veneers and dental crowns are two of the more popular options to help achieve this better smile.
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap permanently affixed to a tooth to improve its strength, shape, and size. The crown covers the tooth above and below the gum line once cemented.
Porcelain dental veneers are thin ceramic shells that are placed over the natural tooth surface to conceal flaws.
Protecting Your Dental Veneers & Crowns
While porcelain, one of the more common materials used in dental veneers and crowns, is powerful, it's not indestructible. Porcelain can be damaged by:
- Alcoholic drinks that make the surface of the bonding resin soft
- Toothpaste that is very rough can chip away at the porcelain's outer layer, which makes it look dirty.
- Using your tooth as a tool to crack hard, non-food objects.
- Sticky tar and other substances in cigarettes stick to the surface of your teeth.
- Hard foods like hard candies, ice, and other very crunchy foods.
- Acidic foods and drinks, such as citrus and sodas.
Regular dental cleanings can remove minor surface stains. If the porcelain damage is too severe, the veneer or crown may be replaced.
Keeping Your Smile White
While it is important to keep your dental veneers and/or dental crowns clean and stain-free, the same should be said for your natural teeth as well. After all, dental veneers and crowns only look natural when they are the same colour as the surrounding teeth. Neglecting either your natural teeth or your dental veers or crowns can result in an unnatural-looking smile.
Fortunately, you can keep your natural teeth white by following the same procedures as described for dental veneers and crowns. Brushing your teeth twice daily (the recommended amount) aids in keeping teeth clean, as does flossing once a day. If you chew gum to freshen your breath, choose sugarless gum. Sugarless gum, believe it or not, can increase saliva production, which can have a cleaning effect.
Finally, professional teeth whitening treatments can help restore your natural teeth to the same colour as your dental crowns and veneers.
Scheduling dental checkups twice a year is another important step in keeping your smile white. These checkups also provide the opportunity for dental cleanings, helping to bring your smile back to its very best.