Tooth replacement options include dentures, dental implants, veneers, crowns and bridges. Each has different aftercare requirements, which your dentist and hygienist will discuss with you in detail as part of the procedure. It’s critical to follow aftercare instructions carefully to extend the life of your new teeth. In many instances, you’ll care for your replacement fixtures much like your own teeth. Unfortunately, many patients shy away from being as aggressive as they should be with daily brushings/flossing because they’re afraid they’ll break their new teeth. This can lead to subpar cleanings which can cause more problems.
With dental implants, veneers and crowns, you’ll likely be encouraged to care for them just like you would your natural teeth. Each of these options is sturdy, durable and requires careful brushing and flossing. As permanent tooth replacement options, they might even last a lifetime — but at the very least several years — with proper oral hygiene. It might feel a little strange flossing with new teeth and different spacing, but remember that this is what a healthy mouth is supposed to feel like.
Some bridges and dentures will require special care. Here are a few common tips on tooth replacement aftercare, but remember that only your dentist can design a customized plan just for you:
1. Soothe a sore mouth:
Sometimes your mouth may be a little sore after a procedure, particularly one for dental implants or after prepping for veneers. However, anything beyond minor discomfort is rare. A dentist-approved, over-the-counter painkiller along with an ice pack should be more than enough to provide relief.
2. Use water picks instead of floss:
This isn’t a requirement for all tooth replacement procedures, but sometimes patients find water picks easier to use than floss, and they’re just as effective. These special dental toothpicks can help you get into crevices for proper flossing when it seems like teeth are too close together for floss to get through. Most patients actually can use floss, but water picks may be more convenient. They’re commonly suggested for patients with braces, too.
3. Add in a fluoride mouthwash:
If you don’t already include this in your oral hygiene regimen, an alcohol-free fluoride mouthwash can be a welcome addition. Although fluoride is most effective in kids and teens who have teeth that are still maturing, it can help strengthen teeth of all ages. If you don’t have fluoride in your water, you might be especially in need of a little extra all-natural strengthening, which can provide a more solid foundation for tooth replacement options like veneers and crowns.
4. Whiten as you like:
Both your natural teeth and replacement fixtures have a whitest white. Your dentist will match these two whites so you can bleach, whiten and beautify your entire mouth at once (and all to the same hue).
Contact Oak Hills Dentistry today for gorgeous, long-lasting teeth replacement options that will make you proud.