Taking care of your smile at home is key to warding off the effects of time and damage—if not, your smile can be destroyed. “Home maintenance is pretty simple, with or without cosmetic dentistry,” says New York cosmetic dentist Timothy Chase, DDS. “Brush two to three times a day, including your tongue, and floss daily.
If your teeth haven’t been restored, I suggest using a high-quality whitener, which will help keep your teeth bright.” Adds Atlanta cosmetic dentist Ronald Goldstein, DDS “If you spend the time with proper hygiene visits, you will not have to spend the time replacing your restorations as quickly.” Flossing daily is also important. “Use products that are not highly abrasive and won’t scratch the enamel, which can make it more subject to staining,” says New York cosmetic dentist Irwin Smigel, DDS.
Once you’ve opted for a major smile makeover (think veneers), it’s crucial to remember that you don’t have your natural teeth with natural enamel anymore. “Instead, you’ll have composite resin– or porcelain-based teeth, both of which can chip or fracture. You need to change your eating habits and avoid things like candied apples, biting meat off the bone, and even hard, crunchy fruits, unless you dice them up,” says Dr. Goldstein. “The aim is to follow a healthy, decay-free diet to maintain your restorations two to three times longer than their average life.”
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