Living With Porcelain Veneers As A Teen

If you are tired of living with teeth that are discolored, chipped, or oddly shaped, your cosmetic dentist can apply veneers to camouflage these problems. While veneers are more common in older adult patients, there's really no reason teens cannot get them, especially if you've already tried other options, like braces and crowns, to fix your teeth. Nevertheless, there are a few adjustments you'll need to make as a teen living with veneers. Here are some tips to follow to keep your teeth healthy and ensure you adapt properly to these dental appliances.

1. Be careful with what you eat.

Eating with veneers is not as restrictive as eating with braces. You can eat somewhat crunchy items like pretzels and apple slices, but you won't want to bite into a big, hard apple or chew on sticky candies like caramels. Sticky foods could loosen the bond between the veneer and your tooth over time, and really crunchy foods could chip your veneers.

As a teen, you are often presented with food prepared by others -- such as at your school lunch or at a friend's house. You should feel comfortable saying "no" to foods that might damage your veneers. This will be easier if you always keep a few of your own tooth-safe snacks on hand. A chewy granola bar, a packet of fruit snacks, or a packet of pretzels fits easily into your bag, so you're never choosing between satisfying your hunger and doing what's best for your teeth.

2. Bring a toothbrush with you.

When you have veneers, you need to be extra careful about brushing your teeth thoroughly. You don't want food getting trapped between the veneers, where it could lead to decay and cavities. If you're like most teens and lead a really busy life, you probably run out the door without brushing your teeth a few times. If you keep a toothbrush and a little tube of toothpaste in your bag, you can always brush when you get to school or between classes.

3. Come up with a good explanation for your peers.

Your teeth will look really different when you get veneers -- that's the point! Surely, some of your friends and peers are going to ask questions. They may wonder how your teeth suddenly got so white and perfect. It's to your benefit to come up with a generic response that you'll offer all these people. Something along the lines of, "I went to the dentist and they gave me a smile makeover with these cool appliances called veneers," is good enough. You want to explain the basics without including so many details that your friends feel overwhelmed or think you're obsessed with your teeth.

4. Don't use your teeth for anything other than eating.

When you're bored in class, it's so tempting to chew your pencil. When your friend can't open their chip bag, you may be tempted to rip it open with your teeth. You simply cannot do these things when you have veneers -- you might break them! Make sure you only use your teeth for chewing -- nothing else. If your friends ask why, just explain that you are concerned about cracking your teeth because you've had a lot of dental work done.

5. Wear a mouthguard.

Most teens should wear a mouthguard when playing sports, but it's even more important for you as someone with veneers. Have your dentist make you a custom mouthguard. This way, it will be more comfortable for you to wear. Put the guard in place whenever you so much as play catch with a friend. Getting hit in the mouth can cause serious damage when you have veneers.

With the tips above, you can live comfortably and confidently with porcelain veneers as a teen.