Porcelain veneers are one of the simplest ways to get the perfect smile. On average, your veneers last about 10 years. Fractures and chipping of the porcelain can cause a shorter lifespan. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help increase the longevity of your veneers, and the following tips can help.

Tip #1: Only Chew the Right Things

Before chewing on anything, make sure it's both edible and veneer-friendly. This means no more chewing on pencils and pen caps, or even chewing your nails or gnawing on a toothpick. As far as actual food, you may want to skip items that are known to be hard on teeth. For example, popcorn kernels can chip real teeth, so it's reasonable to expect them to damage veneers. When eating anything hard, do so with caution.

Tip #2: Get a Guard

A mouth guard is one of the most important things to wear if you play any type of sport where it's reasonable to be wary of a head shot. This means anything with flying balls or flying limbs. Get a custom-fit guard so it fits correctly over your teeth – a cosmetic dentist, like MyoTech Dental & Implant Center, can make one for you. Guards also prolong the life of veneers if you are a teeth grinder. Simply slip one in at night before drifting off to dreamland.

Tip #3: Get In the Habit of Stain-Free Living

Veneers are stain resistant, not stain-proof. This means you may want to cut down on staining beverages, like cola, coffee, red wine, and black teas. If this isn't possible, at least brush thoroughly or rinse your mouth out promptly after partaking. Smoking is also a bad idea. Not only is it bad for your health and your gums, it can also permanently stain your veneers.

Tip #4: Don't Skimp on Dental Visits

It may be tempting to visit the dentist less since you have a perfect smile staring back at you from the mirror. But just because your veneers can't get cavities doesn't mean your real teeth are safe. Plaque and food can work its way between the veneers and your teeth and gums, which can then lead to the formation of a cavity or gum disease. This means you definitely don't want to miss any of your six month cleanings, since only your dentist can catch these issues early enough to prevent tooth and gum damage.