A smile is an investment we make in ourselves to boost our self-esteem and get that glow in the photos we've always wanted.
It is a treatment that offers maximum return for the rest of your life, as it increases your chances of finding a better job, accessing new social contacts and making you feel better in your personal relationships.
But even after all the effort of a big smile makeover, it is important that we are aware of the need to continue to look after our teeth and our health, which means regular visits to the dentist to keep them in tip-top shape.
As we have already talked about in other posts, composites can last 3 or 4 years, while veneers or bridges can be kept in perfect condition for 15 years, as long as we take good care of them, as well as dental implants, which should last practically our whole life.
Maintenance is simple:
1. Daily toothbrushing
It is always best to use an oscillating-rotating-pulsating electric toothbrush, as they offer the best results for plaque control with only three brushings a day.
As far as toothpaste is concerned, the ideal is to use a toothpaste that
with low abrasive capacity, as the more abrasive the toothpaste we use, the less time the brightness of our restorations (composite or ceramic) will last. To quantify this abrasion, a scale called Relative Dentin Abrasiveness (RDA) is used, ranging from 0 to 250.
The ideal is to use toothpastes that have a low abrasive capacity, from 0 to 70. We should avoid using toothpastes with a whitening formula, as they are the most abrasive.
2. Dental floss
This will help to avoid problems of gum inflammation or caries and keep restorations such as inlays, composites or veneers in perfect condition.
Flossing or taping (my preference) is as important as brushing for patients with any type of restoration, be it implants, crowns, veneers... or any other.
It will allow cleaning of the contact areas between teeth and should be used once a day between the contacts of all teeth.
If you have a bridge or dental implants, it is advisable to use dental irrigators, devices that spray water under pressure through an applicator. They are ideal as a complement to daily brushing, to ensure proper cleaning of the area under the gum.
With regard to mouthwashes, the truth is that science does not indicate that they offer great improvements in personal hygiene, however, they can provide certain advantages:
- Improvement of mouth odour
- Extra fluoride in addition to the fluoride in the paste
The only consideration should be to use alcohol-free or chlorhexidine-free rinses, which should only be used on the advice of a dentist, usually after minor surgical procedures such as tooth extractions.