There is a saying that goes, “a smile is a letter of introduction.” You want your letter to be warm, welcoming, and expressive. But when you feel embarrassed about your teeth because of stains or chips, there’s a temptation to cover your mouth or simply keep your lips closed.
In both cases, your words may seem garbled; you lose clarity in your exchanges, and forget about “picture taking time.”
When you seek remedies, you come across advertisements for Cosmetic Dental Veneers. They look great, so the option is tempting, but you can’t help but wonder if there are any special considerations for caring for veneers. Specifically, can you eat with Veneers?
Generally speaking, you can eat most foods with veneers. However, hard and sticky edibles are problematic for all veneer products.
With composite and porcelain veneers, it is more common to consume tougher foods such as steak, cantaloupe, and broccoli. However, with temporary veneers it is best to stay away from steak and enjoy softer foods like mashed potatoes and chicken cut into bite-sized pieces.
We will explain in further detail below about different types of veneers and what other foods can be enjoyed to maintain healthy and beautiful smile.
Basically, if you make smart food choices and maintain good oral hygiene you can maintain dental veneers in great condition for many years. But let’s take a closer look.
What Exactly Are Veneers?
Dental veneers are shaped like a custom-fitted protective shell, made from a variety of materials. They’re bonded to the front of your teeth, imitating the visual impact of natural tooth enamel. Veneers can improve the shape and color of your smile, as well as its overall appearance, especially when placed on the front, top teeth where they’re most visible.
Why Get Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers offer several benefits when you have cosmetic issues with your teeth including:
- Repairing a broken or chipped tooth
- Hiding discoloration
- Closing gaps between teeth
- Improving the shape or size of specific teeth
Some people choose to get only one veneer, say when a tooth breaks. Others choose to get adjacent veneers so their smile looks even, with the focus in the front. When properly cared for, these repairs can last 10 years or more.
Types Of Veneers
In learning about dental veneers, you will come across three specific types repeatedly, namely clip-on, composite, or porcelain. Each has specific advantages and disadvantages for close consideration in determining what’s best for you. What you can eat with each is also slightly different.
Clip-on (Press-on) Veneers
You may have seen commercials about clip-on or press-on veneers for your teeth. Basically, the clip-on works true to their title. They slide onto your teeth and are removable.
The process of getting press-ons or clip-ons begins by taking a home impression and mailing it out. A few weeks later, the plastic veneers arrive and snap-fit in place. They’re the least expensive type of veneer, and easy, but have definitive issues of which you should be aware before buying.
First, if you haven’t had a recent dental exam, there could be hidden issues. You can cover up the decay and chips, but the problems remain in place. Using the veneer increases the chances of infection and abscesses if you don’t care for current cavities and gum health first.
The product isn’t meant to be a substitute for proper repairs. In fact, people with numerous cavities and other tooth problems are not good candidates for any type of veneer.
Many say the look of the clip-on seems unnatural, being very square and too white. Some people have trouble speaking normally when they wear the clip-on veneer. There have also been reports of people getting them stuck in their mouth, ouch!
Unlike porcelain and composite veneers, you’re not advised to eat with the clip-on system in place. So doing affects the longevity of the product. Also, food particles can get trapped in between your teeth and the press-on veneer, leading to decay.
If you decide on a clip-on product and eat with them in, you need to take extra care when rinsing and brushing your teeth afterward, along with the veneers.
An engineered resin creates composite veneers. The process for getting the veneers completed at your dentist’s office is quicker than porcelain. A great surprise here: you can get them done in one visit!
Your dentist matches the shade of the resin so it matches your other teeth. It’s then applied, cured, and processed. Now, just go outside and smile! Should you damage a composite veneer, it’s easily repaired, and again a one-day, in-out process.
Can you eat with composite veneers? Sure, but limit your exposure to coffee, tea, cola, red wine, grapes, and blueberries as they can stain your veneers just like your natural teeth. Eat carefully when biting into things like spare ribs, apples, and corn on the cob because they stress the veneer bonds. Avoid abrasive toothpaste, too.
How long do they last? About 4-8 years because it’s more prone to chipping than porcelain.
If you’re getting porcelain veneers, plan on at least two visits to your dentist. Initially, the dentist takes an impression of your teeth. That mold goes to a lab. In the meanwhile, you can wear temporary veneers. Once completed, porcelain veneers adhere to your teeth with cement, meaning damaging any of them requires complete replacement. They cannot be repaired like composite veneers.
You can eat all your favorite foods with porcelain veneers. Just remember that while porcelain is strong, it lacks the tensile strength in your natural teeth.
So, many dentists recommend eating hard food with your back teeth, avoiding the veneers and thereby protecting them. Slice carrots before eating them, and nibbling the meat off the bones using your front teeth isn’t the best idea.
Porcelain is durable. It is not prone to staining and catches the light in a similar manner to your natural teeth. In the long haul, many people find they are much happier with porcelain veneers vs. clip-ons or composites.
Eating Right After Getting Temporary Veneers
If you’re getting porcelain veneers you’ll need temporary ones while you wait for them to be manufactured at the lab. Don’t get too hung up on how your temporary veneers look. They’re not a perfect reflection of the shape and color of the permanent ones you’ll get because they’re made of resin. Your dentist can remove the resin veneers easily before securing the permanent ones.
Your dentist probably numbed you during the process of putting temporary veneers in place. If so, wait about 3 hours before you try eating or drinking. You don’t want to accidentally chew on your cheek or burn your mouth.
It’s far easier to damage temporary veneers, so you need to be a little careful. Your dental professional will provide you with dependable guidelines. In brief, use your back teeth for hard, crunchy items. Avoid gum, candy, and anything sticky. Gum in particular is notorious for dislodging temporary veneers. Candy-coated nuts can crack them, too.
Here’s a general list of foods to avoid with temporary veneers:
- Hard candy
- Snacks like chips and pretzels
- Toast (or bread with a hard crust)
- Tough meat
- Raw vegetables
Just like your normal teeth, temporary veneers can stain. Dark fruit juice, wine, berries, coffee, and soy sauce are all examples of items that can leave discoloration. One trick that helps is drinking through a straw thereby keeping some of the liquid from contacting the temporary surfaces. Combine that with rinsing your mouth after eating or drinking such foods.
Brush your temporary veneers as you would your normal teeth. Flossing, however, is out of the question for the veneers and surrounding ends. Your temporary veneers are connected, so there’s no way to floss between them. Flossing at the end of the Veneers can knock the whole set out of place.
If you find your teeth are sensitive for more than three days after having the temporary veneers put in, contact your dentist. Also, if you feel you’re bite is “off” you can return for an adjustment, which is a quick fix.
Can you eat with veneers? Yes, but each type of veneer has special considerations. Once you have your veneers in place, it will change your eating lifestyle a bit, mostly in terms of being careful.
Directly biting down on hard food with veneered teeth may cause cracks and breaks. Let your back teeth do the heavy lifting. After a while, the way you eat food becomes a habit and you won’t have to pause and think about it.
You want to protect your new smile and the substantial investment it represents. Press-on (clip-on) veneers can run over $1,000 for a quality product. Composite veneers cost between $400-$1,500 per tooth and porcelain top out between $900 and $2,500 per tooth.
When you’re paying that much, take the precautionary steps recommended by your dental professional. For example, don’t keep biting your nails or ripping off the edge of packages with your teeth. Both set the stage for wearing down your veneers more quickly, potentially damaging them to the point of needing repair.
If you grind your teeth you’ll need to wear a guard every night just as you would to protect your natural teeth. Of course, continue with daily oral hygiene practices, brushing twice daily and flossing. Keep that smile looking like a million!
My name is Keren Tayler. I am a stay-at-home mama to three lovely girls, Sarah + Rachel + Hannah. Prior to becoming a mom, I had a successful career in the accounting field, steps away from becoming a CPA. I decided to give up on my career in order to raise my own kids (as opposed to letting a nancy do it, no judgment here) I learned a lot and I love sharing it with other moms. Along the way, I also became a Certified Food Handler.