I have brand new porcelain veneers and I want to take good care of them. I’ve been in the habit of using mouthwash. Is it safe to use that with my porcelain veneers? Is there anything else I should know about?
It is safe to use mouthwash with one exception. You don’t want to use any mouthwash which contains alcohol. As you can see above, Listerine is one of the worst culprits for this. Some of their products contain as much as 21% alcohol. So, what’s the big deal about alcohol in mouthwash?
Porcelain Veneers & Alcohol
The alcohol content from mouthwash gets held in your mouth quite a bit as you rinse with it. The acidic value of it will eat away at the bonding that keeps your porcelain veneers on your teeth. As a result, two things will happen.
First, you’ll deal with microleakage. That’s where spots of bonding disintegrate leaving you susceptible to things leaking behind your porcelain veneers. This will make them look dark in those places and it’s also a haven for bacteria, leaving you vulnerable to decay.
As the breakdown of bonding progresses, things will get worse until you’re in danger of having the veneers fall off completely.
Unrelated to your veneers, but a problem for your overall health is the way alcohol dries out your gum tissue. This can lead to gum disease which brings its own host of problems.
There are mouthwashes which don’t contain any alcohol. At the time I’m writing this, Breath-Rx and Crest Pro-Health are both alcohol-free.
Caring for Your Porcelain Veneers
- Regular brushing and flossing is important. Take care of them and they’ll serve you well for many years to come.
- Choose your toothpaste carefully. Don’t use a whitening toothpaste, which can scratch the glaze and actually cause staining on your teeth. Most cosmetic dentists recommend Supersmile Toothpaste. It’s especially blended for cosmetic work, such as veneers and porcelain crowns.
- If you are a night grinder, be sure to wear a nightguard. It’s a small investment to protect a large one.
- Make sure your hygienist knows how to clean porcelain veneers. Don’t let her use anything like a power prophy Jet, which will wipe the glaze off your veneers.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Phelan Thomas.