I am proud to say that I have all my own teeth at the age of 65. While that may not sound unusual to some people, everyone in my family who is my age or older wears dentures. I always tell people that that flossing is the key to good dental health. I have arthritis in my hands, but I don't let it keep me from flossing every day. My trick is to use those little "flossers" you can buy at the drug store. They have plastic handles floss stretched out on top of the handle. These make flossing easier on days when my arthritis is acting up. I started this blog to let other people know that they can keep their teeth healthy into old age when they take care of them. If you have hand pain, find ways to make flossing easier, like I did.
If you're about to begin the process of having dental veneers installed, you're probably looking forward to having a smile that you can be proud of. Being self-conscious about the appearance of your teeth can cause a dip in self-confidence that can negatively impact your career and personal life. Fortunately, thanks to modern advances in dental technology, there's no reason for anyone not to have the smile of their dreams. You can keep that smile brighter longer by taking good care of your veneers once they've been put into place. Here's what you need to know:
Use Non-Abrasive Toothpaste
Some toothpastes contain ingredients designed to provide a mild abrasive effect in order to clean the surface of the teeth more thoroughly. Abrasives commonly used in toothpastes include calcium carbonate, aluminum and calcium phosphates, and good old-fashioned baking soda. Abrasive ingredients aren't good for veneers because they wear them down, so be sure to choose a toothpaste that doesn't contain them. As a general rule, whitening toothpastes have higher amounts of abrasive ingredients.
Use a Soft-Bristled Brush
Just like abrasives in toothpaste can scratch and otherwise cause your veneers to erode, using a hard-bristled brush can cause the same problems. Using a soft-bristled brush helps keep your veneers in excellent condition. If you're in doubt about which toothpaste to choose after you've had your veneers installed, ask your dental health professional for a recommendation.
The alcohol in adult beverages won't harm the surface of the veneers — the damage happens because alcohol can erode the composites that bond the veneers to your teeth. When you do decide to enjoy a cocktail, however, you can minimize the risk by sipping it through a straw. Keep in mind that certain mouthwashes contain alcohol as well, so be sure to look for a brand that is alcohol-free.
Wear a Mouth Guard for Physical Activities
If you engage in sports, ride a bicycle for fun or as a way to commute, or otherwise engage in a level of physical activity that could potentially damage your teeth if you were to get into an accident, wearing a mouth guard reduces the possibility of your veneers becoming broken or cracked if you experience a mishap.
Avoid Biting Into Hard Foods
Instead of eating apples, carrots, and other hard foods whole, cut them into bite-sized pieces to protect your veneers. Avoid hard candies and nuts altogether, and never use your teeth as a tool to open bottles. Keep in mind that the time will come when your veneers will need to be replaced, but you can delay this by taking good care of them.