After Cosmetic Dentistry: Caring for Your Smile

Cosmetic dentistry is an investment in your personal and professional success. As such, you’ll want to protect your investment after you’ve completed any cosmetic enhancement. I’ve been pracproper oral hygiene after cosmetic dentistryticing cosmetic dentistry in the Dallas area since 1985, and I’ve seen firsthand the ill effects of improper smile maintenance. By following a few simple but important tips, you can ensure that you can ensure that your smile serves you well throughout the years. Careful smile maintenance will extend the life of your cosmetic dentistry considerably. Follow these instructions, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask us!

After Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening is not permanent, but it can last long-term if you take certain measures. I recommend the following tips for maintaining your bright, white smile long after you leave the dentist’s chair:

  • Floss daily – nearly 70% of stains occur between teeth where food gets trapped
  • Replace your toothbrush every 2-3 months – clean, soft bristles effectively whisk away debris
  • Avoid dark-pigmented foods and beverages (coffee, tea, red wine, soda, berries, red sauces)
  • Snack wisely – crunchy fruits and vegetables stimulate saliva and prevent plaque buildup
  • Use take-home trays – periodic touchups will ensure your smile looks radiant indefinitely

After Crowns & Veneers

  • Brush- although crowns and veneers will not decay, the exposed portions of your teeth will if you don’t maintain them, and this can have devastating consequences for your beautiful, new smile. I recommend a power toothbrush to gently clean the area around the gumline.
  • Floss – I can’t stress this enough. Buildup and debris lodged between teeth (even if you can’t see it!) will cause gums to become inflamed and can lead to gum disease. This can cause gums to recede, which reveals the top edge of your crowns or veneers.
  • Avoid chewing hard items – crowns and veneers are more delicate than natural teeth, so avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels, pencils, or your fingernails.
  • Wear a nightguard – most people grind their teeth at night. This will take a toll on anyone’s teeth, and if you have crowns or veneers, then you’ll want to be especially mindful of this damaging habit.

After Cosmetic Bonding

  • Avoid staining foods and drinks – red wine, coffee, blueberries, and other dark-colored edibles can stain the composite resin.
  • Use a regular toothpaste – extra whitening toothpastes contain abrasives that may damage the bonding.
  • Use alcohol-free mouth rinses – alcohol can soften the bonding composite.
  • Do not use your teeth to open things – you can break or chip the bonding.
  • Attend frequent cleanings – bonded teeth require 3-4 cleanings annually to remove stains and keep them looking natural.

After Orthodontics

  • The most important advice I can give to patients after completing orthodontics is to wear their retainers. So many people discontinue use after six months or a year, but retainers are for life! Chances are that if you stop wearing your retainer, you’ll start wearing braces again sometime in the future.

Why waste all the time and effort you and your dentist have spent perfecting your smile? Protect your smile, and it will serve you well for years and years. If you have any questions or would like more advice on maintaining cosmetic dental work, then please call our office at (972) 612-7800. At the Fitzgerald Dental Center, we take pride in helping patients preserve their smiles for the long-term.