Sometimes when people get a replacement tooth like dentures or a dental implant, an artificial crown, or a veneer, they decide that because the tooth isn’t natural enamel they don’t have to give it the same amount of care and attention. In many cases they have to care for their replacement tooth either way: after all, it’s hard to not brush one molar in a row. But if you think that a veneer can protect your teeth from cavities all on its own, you should think again.
The fact is that your mouth is full of dangerous bacteria that can eat enamel and infect your gums. As this bacteria multiplies it creates a film of plaque, and if you leave plaque alone for too long it turns into tartar, gingivitis, and periodontitis. And while this bacteria doesn’t eat porcelain, resin, or other artificial materials, it can still attack the enamel underneath an inlay or a veneer and it can build up a layer of plaque on an artificial surface. That gives it a bigger population and the ability to cause more trouble.
Fortunately, caring for dental appliances and implants isn’t much more complicated than caring for your natural teeth. You can keep an implant clean with the same toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss you use for the rest of your teeth, although you should also have your dentist clean underneath the crown since microscopic bacteria can also make its way underneath the implant crown and stick to the titanium screw, and that can lead to an infection.
Dentures are actually easier to clean than natural teeth since you can take them out of your mouth and have a look at them. However, you also need to remember that they require special care. Dentures need special toothbrushes with soft bristles and a pointy brush to get into the cracks between each fake tooth, and you can’t use toothpaste since toothpaste will scratch the appliance. You also need to keep them soaked when they aren’t in your mouth and remember to brush your gums to get rid of the bad bacteria.
Oral care is important both to your natural teeth and to any artificial teeth, crowns, or dentures you might have. Your mouth is a dirty place, and the act of chewing your food puts it through a lot of stress. So if you want to keep your natural teeth for as long as possible, don’t forget to take care of any artificial teeth and veneers that are also in your mouth.