Cosmetic dentistry is an investment in YOU – your appearance, self-esteem, viability in the job market, and acceptance in social settings. Once you’ve got your smile looking terrific, it makes great sense to protect and preserve it. Dr. Steven Hatcher shares these tips to help patients from Greensboro, NC to Burlington, High Point, Kernersville, Salem, Winston, and beyond, make the most of their investment in smile enhancement.
In the care of an ethical dentist, the majority of treatments, including prevention and restoration, have an element of aesthetics. Yet some services are intended primarily to improve the appearance of your smile:
Your smile makeover could be a single treatment, or a comprehensive combination of services phased in over time. Regardless, these tips will extend the lifespan of your dental work and keep your smile glowing.
A consistent routine of home oral care is the most important step you can take to maintain cosmetic and restorative dental work. Brush after eating. Use a mild, non-abrasive toothpaste and soft toothbrush – either manual or electric. Give extra attention to the margin where veneers and crowns meet the gum line. An aggressive brushing style contributes to gum recession, so please use a light hand.
Floss gently, as well. You really cannot floss too often, and it is especially critical before your last brushing of the night. Slide the floss toward gums. Then pull it into a V-shape and glide it up and down to clean sides of teeth. Instead of tugging it past contacts (which can dislodge dental work), pull one end of floss out from the gum line. If you have a dental bridge, we will demonstrate how to use a floss threader to keep soft tissues under the bridge clean and healthy.
Maintain regular checkup appointments. These visits give our team the opportunity to inspect cosmetic dental work so that minor issues, if any, can be corrected before they become bigger problems. Of course, these visits are essential to the overall health of your teeth and mouth, too.
While porcelain dental restorations, and composites to a lesser degree, resists stains, your natural teeth do not. Tooth enamel has microscopic pits, grooves, and channels that trap pigments. So, when dental work stays bright, but enamel becomes dingy, the disparity can be noticeable. Try to keep staining beverages away from teeth. It is simple – just sip cola, red wine, tea, and coffee from a straw. Keep a washable, reusable metal or heavy plastic drinking straw in your pocket, handbag, desk drawer, and automobile.
Protect your teeth from trauma. Don’t bite directly into hard foods – break or cut them into small pieces that you can grind with back molars. It is best to avoid chewy candy, but if that is your weakness, try sucking on it instead of chewing. Keep hard objects such as pens and fingernails out of your mouth. Wear a custom fit mouthguard when playing sports. If you clench or grind, we can provide a night guard to cushion teeth (as an added benefit, you may find relief from jaw pain and headaches).