Cosmetic dentistry offers various solutions and results to the patients who dream about having a beautiful “hollywood smile”, and cosmetic dentistry specialists work hard to provide the growing demand. However, cosmetic dentistry treatments requires attention of not only the dentists but also the patients themselves, therefore there are few things that patients need to know about cosmetic dentistry aftercare in order to be able to maintain their new smile.
One major thing that patients need to know is that, having a new set of aesthetic teeth doesn’t make them immune to the effects of their previous negative habits that caused their original teeth to wear off. Habits, such as smoking, teeth grinding and clenching can still damage the new teeth. Following receiving their new teeth, patients should change these old habits, and clean the new teeth with better tools and techniques.
The dentist may advise their patients to avoid eating hard food, especially biting hard meals (such as raw carrots or biting the meat down to its bone) with their front teeth, and rely on their molars instead. While porcelain veneers are strong, they still lack the tensile strength and resilience of natural teeth. Patients are also advised to avoid extremely hot or sticky food for the first 24 hours after the cementation.
It is important to lower the alcohol consumption, especially for the early post operation process, and patient should also avoid using alcohol based mouth wash (they can use a solution of water and hydrogen peroxide instead). Porcelain veneers stick to the tooth with an adhesive, which can fail upon contacting with alcohol.
Depending on the treatment plan, dentists can give dentures or night guard to their patients.
Dentures are temporary teeth, given to the patients who are having extensive dental implant treatments, which causes them to be partly or completely toothless for a few months between the initial and final stages of their treatment. Patients may experience some discomfort for a few days after receiving the dentures, as most of them requires adjustment to fit the patient’s mouth. Dentures can also cause patients to have trouble while speaking, and it can take some time before they adapt to speaking with dentures (practice makes perfect). It is also recommended that patients should prefer consuming soft food and practice a new chewing pattern in order to adjust to their dentures.
Cleaning is the dentures and gums are also very important for a healthy process. Dentures should be taken our every night, brushed inside and out, and kept in a container with cleaning solution. Patients should also clean them with brush and water before putting them into their mouth. It is recommended to fill the sinks with water or cover with a soft towel as a precaution in case denture falls. However, putting dentures in paper towels and napkins aren’t recommended as they can be easily thrown away by mistake (keep them away from small children and pets as well). Patients should clean their gums with a washcloth as well, and gums need to rest without the dentures on a daily basis.
Night guards are given to the patients, who had recently had their veneers/crowns cemented, in order the protect them from any damage that patients can cause while they are asleep. After starting using the night guard, patients can experience excess saliva at first, but this will reduce over time. If the guard feels too tight or the patient’s bite feels off, an adjustment can be made by the dentist.
Similar to the dentures, night guard should be kept clean as well. Patients should brush them with toothpaste and toothbrush after putting them into their mouth. They should be kept in their own boxes when not in mouth, and not wrapped in napkins or towels for same reasons as dentures.
If the guard causes lips to not close completely, patients can apply lip palms to keep their lips humid.
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