Brushing and cleaning your teeth is an easy every task, but what if you have dental restorations in progress and are unaware of how to give the proper care for your teeth? If you have braces, crowns, caps, veneers, bridges, or implants, this guide will tell you the things you should consider when brushing and help you take better care of your pearly whites.
We have all seen braces before, they are the most common effective teeth restorative procedure used to straighten and correct the alignment of your teeth by exerting steady pressure. As dental braces use brackets that cover a large proportion of every tooth, brushing your teeth can be difficult; but your dental practitioner should have briefed you on how you can brush your teeth when you first get them on. In case they were not clear, we have a couple of tips for you:
Brushing your teeth with braces is essentially the same, you don’t need anything out of the ordinary; although it is recommended that you use a soft round-bristled toothbrush to keep it effective and lower the risk of damaging your braces in the process. Before you brush your teeth, it is always a good idea to firstly rinse your mouth with water to get rid of any food particles that are stuck in and/or around your braces. Then when you brush your teeth, all you have to do is work around the braces, making sure you brush above and below the brackets and always do a clean check to see if there’s any food stuck that you have missed. With braces, it is also recommended that you brush your teeth at least 3 times a day and floss regularly to keep your teeth strong and healthy.
In terms of teeth whitening, we have mentioned before that if you have braces, your dentist will recommend waiting until they are removed before you use any whitening treatment. As braces cover the central area of each tooth, whitening treatment will only clean the outer area leaving spaces underneath that will be unwhitened. Sometimes, if you have a special event or are in a situation where you can’t resist to look your best; even with braces, you can always whiten your teeth and get them re-whitened again after removing them. However, you must firstly speak to your dentist about it and whether there are any risks of the treatment damaging your teeth or braces, and they can also work with you select to the right whitening treatment.
Crowns & Caps
Crowns and caps are tooth restorative procedures that protect damaged, cracked or broken teeth by placing ‘caps’ usually made of metal or porcelain over an entire tooth. They are made to look and function like the rest of your teeth so that it can be hard to tell, giving you a natural smile. Since they function like normal teeth, your oral care habits shouldn’t change, and you can brush your teeth normally. Crowns and caps usually last five to eight years depending on the materials they’re made from and how you look after them. To maximise the life span of your dental restorations, be cautious when you chew on hard foods and avoid grinding your teeth. Furthermore, if you are seeking whitening treatment, keep in mind that most treatments are designed for teeth and may not be effective on your crowns/caps. It is best to whiten your teeth before you get your crowns or before you get them renewed and match to your new teeth colour.
Similarly, to crowns and caps, dental veneers go over your teeth; however, instead of a cap-like design, they are strong thin pieces of ceramic or resin materials that go onto the surface of your teeth. Veneers are mainly used for cosmetic purposes or to cover chipped, stained or decayed teeth to re-create the natural look. Brushing with veneers is the same as you would with regular brushing and as mentioned, teeth whitening treatments are designed for teeth and may not work for veneers.
Bridges and Implants
Dental bridges and implants are teeth restoration procedures that replace missing teeth with artificial ones. The difference is that bridges are fixed making them non-removable while implants are removeable and are attached to a titanium rod placed into the root of where your tooth used to be. Regular brushing would be fine with these restorations; however, plague can build up on the surface of teeth, but also underneath them. As implants are removable, it is a little easier to take them out and clean under and around the roots. For bridges, it is more difficult with them being cemented in. The most efficient way to clean plaque off bridges is by flossing regularly, making sure that any excess plaque is flossed out.