If you’ve recently gotten veneers, you know that they can be expensive. So you’ll want to take care of them just like you would your actual teeth to ensure they last as long as possible.
If you haven’t received your permanent veneers yet, you were most likely fitted with temporary veneers. These are significantly more fragile than permanent veneers.
What can’t you eat with veneers? Whether temporary or permanent, keep reading to learn more.
How can food damage veneers?
Food and drink can damage your veneers in two ways by affecting the texture and colour.
Eating hard or tough food poses the risk of chipping, cracking, or dislodging your veneers, which is a painful nuisance to deal with. Additionally, food and beverages with a high risk of staining can impact the appearance of your smile.
Without following the proper precautions, you may find yourself making frequent visits and payments to the dentist for professional cleanings.
What food should be avoided?
The food you should avoid will change depending on whether you’re fitted with temporary or permanent veneers. These are different in terms of material, bonding agent, and even sometimes shape and size.
You’ll be fitted with a temporary veneer in the awkward period between starting the veneer process and waiting for the final product. A temporary veneer is significantly more fragile than a permanent one. It will allow you to adjust to eating and brushing – but the most crucial task is keeping the affected tooth protected.
Here is a list of food that should be avoided when eating or drinking with temporary veneers.
Steak or other chewy/tough meats
Depending on how the meat is cooked, an extended period of chewing and tearing at a piece of meat may risk the veneer coming loose.
This covers a large variety of food, including:
- Raw vegetables like celery or carrots (anything with a big crunch)
- Hard and sticky candy
- Snacks such as nuts, seeds, or chips
- Toasted and crusty bread
- Although not a “food,” ice is also to be avoided
Temporary veneers are fixed to your teeth using temporary cement, meaning that they aren’t securely bonded to your teeth. Just like an extended period of chewing and tearing at a piece of meat can risk the veneer coming loose, so can the foods listed above.
You will also experience more sensitivity to temperature and functionality because of the shaven tooth enamel, so sticking to softer foods is recommended. This includes:
- Mashed potatoes
- Fish or chicken
Luckily this awkward period only lasts for a few weeks, so you won’t be stuck on this diet forever.
Once you receive your permanent veneers, they will be permanently bonded to the front of your teeth, making them far more durable than any temporary veneers. This removes many of the eating restrictions listed above, but there are still precautions you should take for your veneers’ sake.
It is still best to steer clear of any tough foods, like french bread, tough steaks, and ice. Additionally, excessive alcohol consumption can weaken the bonding agent over time and threaten the security of your veneers.
Anything with a staining agent
Although porcelain veneers are stain-resistant, the bonding material used and your surrounding natural teeth are not. When you consume staining foods and beverages without taking necessary precautions, you will notice your veneers becoming a different colour over time.
The following foods and beverages have a high chance of staining your teeth and the veneer bonding agent:
- Red wine
- Black or dark tea
- Dark sodas
- Dark fruits, like berries
- Red peppers
It’s unrealistic to expect everyone to cut these out of their diet entirely, so there are necessary precautions you can take to preserve the appearance of your veneers and keep your smile looking fresh.
You can prevent discolouration by drinking the beverages listed above through a straw to minimize contact with your teeth. Additionally, after eating any of the foods listed, you should rinse your mouth with water or even go a step further and brush your teeth, which is also great for your dental health.
It would help if you also tried to minimize or avoid these habits, as over time, they can discolour or damage your veneers:
- Chewing tobacco
- Using your teeth to open or grip objects
To learn more about veneers and how to take care of them, you can visit WebMD, or consult your dentist directly with any questions.