Cosmetic dentistry can transform any smile into a healthy and radiant one - but it will require some special care to maintain that new smile. Perfecting your unique smile is an investment that will pay off for years to come, and you will want to protect that investment! Cosmetic treatments such as porcelain veneers, implants, and crowns will need specialized care, both at home and in a professional dental office. The following tips can help you keep your new and improved smile looking amazing for years to come.
Home Care Tips for in between Dental Visits
- Artificial cosmetic restorations will need good oral hygiene to protect and maintain the natural teeth and gums you still have remaining. Your dentist can recommend a safe and effective toothpaste that will not damage your cosmetics.
- Avoid biting and chewing hard foods and objects, such as ice, bones, or candies, and do not use your new teeth as a tool to open bottle caps. Extreme force from these activities can easily crack or break your cosmetics.
- Avoid drinking alcohol as the acids in your favorite adult beverage may damage or even dissolve the material that holds porcelain veneers to your teeth. Ask your dentist to recommend an alcohol-free mouthwash as well.
- Use a mouth guard if you have bruxism, more commonly known as teeth grinding, or whenever engaging in sports.
- Don’t skip your dentist’s appointments! You’ve worked hard to get your oral health tip-top, and regular maintenance will help to keep it there - not to mention help improve your overall health. Routine examinations will also evaluate your cosmetic dentistry for any potential issues such as reactions in the gums, staining, or cracks.
Professional Care Tips while in the Dentist’s Chair
- Are you seeing a new dentist and you’ve had cosmetic dental work done in the past? Be certain to let the dentist, oral hygienist, and office staff know about your existing work! Certain maintenance procedures work well for your natural teeth and metal restorations, but can ruin the ceramic or composite materials used in cosmetic restorations.
- Polishing your cosmetic restorations should be done with special care. Be sure your dentist is using an aluminum oxide polishing agent instead of regular pumice polish and avoiding devices that use a sodium bicarbonate spray, which will scratch the composite bonding and the porcelain surface and cause erosion and lead to staining. Your teeth may look amazing right after the visit, but their appearance and condition will rapidly decline.
- Ultrasonic scalers must be used with great caution! If used improperly around the margins of dentist crowns, veneers, or composite bonding, they can damage the appearance, leaving the restored teeth vulnerable to decay.
- Any treatments used on cosmetic dental restorations should contain neutral fluoride only to avoid etching or breaking the surface glaze on any porcelain crowns and veneers.