Taking Care of Your Smile

It’s hard to read anything about dental health without noticing the strong connection between good oral hygiene and overall wellness.  More and more people are taking an interest in not only the appearance of their teeth, but the physical condition of their mouth, which is very good news.  Cosmetic dentistry has really become all the rage, as treatments such as dental implants and cosmetic veneers gain popularity, giving a patient a beautiful, healthy smile.  But did you know that those new pearly whites require protection? Restorative dental work typically has a lifespan of 10-15 years, according to the article, “Seven Ways to Ruin Cosmetic Dentistry Work, found in Dental Health Magazine.  But if you don’t take care of your new smile, you’ll be visiting your dentist a lot sooner and could spend a lot more money than necessary.

The article identifies a few dos and don’ts when it comes to protecting your restorative work.  For example, porcelain (commonly used in veneers) can break very easily, so you’ll want to avoid hard candies and popcorn, or using a water pick directly on those teeth.  Using toothpaste that contains abrasive ingredients, such as baking soda, can cause your pearly whites to dull.  Also, if you find that you grind your teeth at night, consider using an inexpensive night guard to protect your teeth from cracks or breaks.  The same goes if you participate in contact sports.  A mouth guard can go a long way in protecting your smile.  Did you know that areas around dental work are often susceptible to cavities? Drinks with high acidity can be especially harmful, so be sure to avoid those, along with excessive sweets.  And finally, never use a mouthwash that contains alcohol.  These products tend to dry the mouth excessively, and the presence of saliva is necessary to keep your teeth and gums free of bacteria.

Most cosmetic dentistry offices will repair broken or damaged restorative work, but only if the damage is caused by a mistake on their part; a crown didn’t fit quite right, or there was a problem with the lab work.  If you need to have work replaced or repaired because of your negligence, then it will cost you, and without proper care, cosmetic treatments can get expensive.  Oral hygiene has been closely connected to overall health, which explains why it is so important to maintain a healthy dental routine.

Written by Mark Paulsort

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