Crowns, bridges, and veneers all provide long-lasting solutions that will help you improve your smile. While these dental treatments are subject to normal wear and tear, there are steps you can take to keep them looking their best and to prevent damage. If you have spent the time and money investing in a healthy smile, here are 10 tips for protecting your investment.

1. Wear a mouthguard when you play sports.

This is a good idea whether you have undergone cosmetic dentistry or you are simply trying to protect your natural teeth. Even if you aren’t playing contact sports, accidents happen and an inexpensive mouthguard can help you avoid an uncomfortable injury that requires additional dental work. Look for affordable options that can be molded to your teeth for a tight fit that offers maximum protection.

2. Brush, floss, and rinse regularly.

Your porcelain crowns, bridges, and veneers should be cared for just like your natural teeth. Remember, even though your smile has been repaired and restored, you are still at risk for other dental problems, such as gum disease. Make sure that you are brushing for at least two minutes at a time and that you brush, floss, and rinse at least twice a day. Also, use a soft toothbrush or electric toothbrush to provide a gentle and thorough cleaning.

3. Use a whitening toothpaste.

Your new porcelain veneers will perfectly match your natural teeth for a seamless look. However, veneers are still susceptible to stains and discoloration. A whitening toothpaste can help maintain a brighter, more consistent look. Keep in mind that some whitening toothpastes contain abrasive materials that may scratch your dental work, so be sure to ask your dentist about which brands are best for you.

4. Avoid tobacco products and alcohol.

As you probably know, cigarettes and other tobacco products are hard on your health and your teeth. It won’t take long for them to turn your teeth yellow and diminish your smile. The ingredients in alcohol can also affect the materials that are used to bond different cosmetic dentistry solutions to your teeth, so be sure to drink in moderation in order to protect your smile.

5. Avoid powerful polishing devices.

These tools use sodium bicarbonate to polish the surface of your teeth, which can easily break the glaze and create a rough surface that more easily attracts stains and plaque. While the results may look good at first, you may be setting yourself up for more problems down the road.

6. Don’t chew on ice or other hard objects.

As you might imagine, chewing on hard materials has the potential to crack and damage your dental work. In addition, if you grind your teeth during your sleep, you should use a night guard to avoid putting too much pressure on your porcelain additions.

7. Be careful when you floss.

While flossing is an essential part of dental hygiene and a necessary step in taking care of your cosmetic dentistry, you want to avoid putting too much pressure on your veneers, crowns, and bridges. Your dentist should be able to provide you with advice on the right techniques so that you can enjoy the benefits of flossing without causing any damage.

8. Avoid beverages that cause stains.

While coffee, tea, wine, and soda are all popular drinks, it is important to limit your consumption of them. These beverages contain tannins that can quickly build up on the tooth’s enamel. While tannins are organic, they have the ability to cause stains. When you do indulge, be sure to brush your teeth as soon as possible to reduce the staining effects.

9. Invest in a water pick.

Cleaning around crowns and bridges can be especially challenging. If bacteria are allowed to remain on the tooth’s surface, plaque can accumulate and eventually lead to gingivitis. A water pick is an effective tool that uses water pressure and a pulsating action to remove food from around dental work where it can easily get trapped.

10. Visit your dentist for regular cleanings.

Don’t forget that bi-annual visits to the dentist are an essential part of your oral hygiene. These visits can help keep your dental work in optimal condition and identify any problems early. These visits are especially important for patients with bridges and crowns that can be more difficult to clean. Just because you are feeling more confident about your smile, doesn’t mean you can ignore oral health best practices.

With these tools, knowledge, and strategies, you can keep your crowns, bridges, and veneers looking like new for years to come while also preventing other oral health issues, such as gum disease. Be sure to keep up with your regular oral health habits and take added steps to prevent damage. If you want more advice about maintaining your dental work or you are ready to correct your smile with porcelain crowns, bridges, and veneers, contact the team at Millenium Dental today. We can help you find the perfect dental solution that will have you proudly smiling again.