Maintaining Your Dental Work…
Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever.
If you have teeth, there comes a time when your teeth need a little help. If you’ve had teeth worked on, there will probably come a time when that work needs a little maintenance or replacement. Even if you have no teeth, whatever you use to replace missing teeth will eventually break.
So what can be done to make your restorations (crowns, veneers, fillings, bridges, etc.) last as long as possible? Fortunately, a little prevention can go a long ways. It is possible to prevent disease in your mouth and make your restorations last.
Home Care – We have all heard the story about brushing and flossing. I certainly do not want to beat that dead horse. There are a variety of other aids that help to keep your teeth clean, but there’s no way around the old standby. You don’t have to brush and floss all of your teeth, just the ones you want to keep. Sonic toothbrushes and water flossers are great, as well.
Fluoride – Topical fluoride, whether prescription strength or over-the-counter, helps prevent cavities under and around dental work. It can also help with hot and cold sensitivity. Most toothpaste has fluoride and you can supplement that with a rinse before bed. Your dentist can also make custom nighttime trays that apply fluoride overnight.
Xylitol Gum – Chewing sugar free gum sweetened with xylitol has shown to help prevent tooth decay. It appears that the xylitol disrupts the bacteria that cause cavities. Chewing sugarless gum also stimulates salivary flow that keeps the bacteria in your mouth from dissolving your teeth.
Regular Cleanings – Clean mouths equal healthy, longer lasting restorations. The amount of time between professional cleanings varies from person to person. Some people tend to build plaque faster and need more frequent cleanings to keep bacteria at bay. I know because I’m one that has to get my teeth cleaned every two to three months. Ask your dentist or hygienist what is right for you.
Regular Check-Ups – It’s always nice to catch a failing restoration early, rather than late. Bi-annual check-ups with dental x-rays catch a lot of smaller problems before it’s too late. As with everything else in life, small problems caught early are easier to fix than bigger problems that have been put off. Listen to your body when something doesn’t feel right and get it checked out.
Until next time, keep smiling.
-Questions or comments can be sent to Drs. Parrish at www.ParrishDental.com.