If you recently had porcelain veneers, crowns, or a bridge with an artificial tooth placed, you are no doubt enjoying your beautiful new smile. But nothing lasts forever, especially without proper care. It is easy to think all your dental problems have been solved, relax your cleaning habits, and then a new crisis is triggered.
The good news is that if you are rigorous about cleaning and have a dental exam at least twice a year, you may never again need a cavity removed, periodontal surgery done, or a veneer, crown, or bridge placed again.
Use Gentle Cleaning Methods
It starts with a soft toothbrush: harder ones can wear down gums, which hold your teeth in place. Gently, but firmly, scrape each tooth on both sides from the bottom towards the mouth multiple times, for a total of two minutes for both arches and do this after breakfast and dinner.
Floss and use a dental-grade mouth rinse before you go to bad: make sure you scrape both sides of the teeth that you slip the floss between. Be careful not to do this so strongly that you break your dental work. If you aren’t sure exactly how to brush and floss properly, ask your dental hygienist to show you.
Go with Professional Cleaning Often
Remember that behind the veneer and underneath the crown is a natural tooth that can become decayed and the gums can be infected by periodontal bacteria, leading to the need to remove the tooth if it is not reversed in time.
Also have a professional cleaning at least twice a year from your dentist because it is very difficult to keep your oral hygiene perfect without a hygienist’s tools and skills. This would also be a good time to have an evaluation of whether the whiteness of your teeth still matches your veneers, crowns, and bridges. You may be able to adequately maintain the shade with over-the-counter products or may need a professional touch-up.
Oral health, like the rest of the body, depends on taking good care of yourself, eating a balanced diet of proteins, healthy fats, lots of vegetables, and complex carbohydrates (whole grains, seeds, nuts, beans, and legumes). Some fruit is fine, but avoid overindulgence that can cause natural sugar to stick to your teeth and cause decay and periodontal infection. Unless you’ve followed a perfect diet all your life, you may need to take nutritional supplements. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water (this can help avoid getting a dry mouth, which invites cavities to develop) and get enough exercise and sleep.