Home Care

Nightguards

Your custom fit nightguard is designed to be worn either over the upper or lower teeth and be comfortably worn at night. With the nightguard in place, grinding forces are absorbed and dispersed by a soft protective layer of acrylic. By wearing this device routinely, your teeth and dental restorations will be protected, as well as allowing others around you to sleep more soundly.

A custom nightguard is worn daily and like any personal care item, it requires regular cleaning to prevent damage to the appliance and growth of bacteria. Proper care and maintenance of your custom night guard will extend its life, saving you time and money.

Cleaning

In the morning and following each use, simply rinse the night guard in cool, fresh water. Regular cleaning can be accomplished by brushing with non-abrasive cleaning agents such as liquid dish soap. In addition, use of over the counter denture cleaners will help manage any accumulation of minerals or stains. It is important to avoid soaking the appliance in these cleansers for greater than 15 minutes. Doing so may void all guarantees. Avoid using any cleaner that contains alcohol as an ingredient as it can drastically shorten the lifespan of the appliance.

Maintenance and Storage

When not in use, store your night guard in cold tap water in the container provided. This will help fight against bacterial growth. Store your appliance safely away from children and pets. It’s just as important to care for your nightguard’s storage case as it is your night guard. Placing a clean night guard into a case that hasn’t been cleaned in quite some time will contaminate the nightguard. Wash your case out well with soap and hot water before use. Rinse it and allow it to dry before you place your night guard into it.

Check your nightguard weekly for any damage. Nightguards are made to be durable, but over time, the grinding and or clenching will take its toll. The good news is that the damage is being done to the night guard, which can be replaced, instead of your teeth. Never use chlorine bleach or other caustic/harsh chemicals for cleaning or boil or microwave the appliance. This can cause a change in the physical properties of the material and void all guarantees. Take your custom night guard with you to your regular dental checkups so as to check its fit and function. If damage on your nightguard is detected, it’s time to purchase a new one. A nightguard should be replaced after 6-7 years or use or if it no longer fits.

Use of Appliance

Insert the appliance by using your forefinger and thumbs from both hands to guide it into place over your teeth. Gently close your teeth together to insure the appliance is fully seated. Removal of appliance is best accomplished by grasping it with the forefinger and thumb of both hands and using equal pull on both sides simultaneously.


Porcelain Veneers

Your porcelain veneers are both beautiful, durable and made of the finest materials available today. Porcelain itself wears as well or better than your natural teeth. However, the longevity of these restorations primarily depends on how well you take care of them. The information included below contains tips on how to properly clean and care for your porcelain veneers to ensure they last a lifetime.

Diet and Habits

Porcelain is immune to tooth decay, however, the uncovered part of the tooth can still get cavities. Foods that contain sugars of any kind can contribute to tooth decay. Eating a balanced diet and limiting between-meal snacks can reduce the risk of developing decay around your veneers.

Consumption of soda, coffee, tea, wine, and other tooth-staining foods should be kept to a minimum. If you do consume these types of foods or drinks, be sure to brush soon after to avoid staining. If you cannot brush, rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash.

Heavy and frequent alcohol consumption has the potential to dissolve bonding that cements the porcelain veneer to the tooth requiring its replacement.

Not only are cigarettes and tobacco products bad for your overall health, they can also reduce the lifespan and beauty of your porcelain veneers. These items contain nicotine, which can quickly turn your white veneers yellow.

Oral Hygiene

Use an ultra-soft manual or electric toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste to thoroughly clean your teeth, gently floss, and finish with a mouthwash rinse. Avoid mouthwashes that have a high alcohol content. Instead, choose a mouthwash without alcohol or use a solution of water and hydrogen peroxide. Similarly, avoid highly abrasive toothpastes. While they won’t scratch the porcelain, they can also cause the bonding resin to be abraded.

Chewing

Porcelain veneers are not designed to withstand sharp impacts and they can fracture, just as your natural teeth can fracture. Do not bite foreign objects such as pins, nails, bottles, etc., and do not strike them with hard objects. Similarly, avoid chewing excessively hard foods on the veneered teeth (hard candy, ice, raw carrots, bones, etc.)

It’s important to avoid tearing hard foods or anything that can twist the veneer and create shearing forces. Porcelain is naturally resistant to compressive forces but will easily crack or fracture with shearing forces.

Maintenance

Extreme force or trauma can break porcelain veneers just as the same force can break natural teeth. We recommend protecting your investment by and wearing an athletic mouthguard for your teeth if you are active in sports or a nightguard if you clench or grind your teeth.

To maximize the lifespan of your investment, we recommend special professional maintenance techniques. The dental hygienists at Spring Creek Dental have special training in the maintenance of porcelain veneers and know what needs to be done to keep them looking their best. We recommend a minimum of two maintenance visits a year for your new restorations. This will provide us an opportunity to keep the veneers polished, thus prolonging their life.


Dentures

You have new dentures which will fit and feel different than your previous dentition or dentures that you have been using. During this period of adjustment, it is critical to realize that you are an individual. Therefore, do not compare your progress in adjusting to the new dentures to another person’s experience. Some individuals will adapt and adjust to dentures easier than others for a variety of reasons. If concerns do arise, we recommend that you make your doctor aware of them as soon as possible.

Sore Areas with New Dentures

The development of “Sore Spots” with new dentures are commonplace. In fact, three adjustments are typically required to eliminate sore spots for most individuals. An appointment will be made for you 24-48 hours after the insertion of your new dentures as sore spots will develop within this time period. Also, as you continue to use your dentures the development of new sores is certainly possible. It is absolutely essential that you do not attempt to adjust your dentures yourself. A new set of dentures can be rendered useless with improper adjustments. If sore spots do develop we recommend the following protocol: Call and schedule your appointment and try to keep your dentures out as much as possible prior to your appointment.

Speaking with New Dentures

Learning to talk with your new dentures in place requires practice and perseverance. Reading aloud is a very helpful method of learning to pronounce words properly. It takes time for your tongue and facial muscles to learn how to work together with the dentures to make good speech sounds. We recommend repetition and practicing the words and sounds that seem to give you the most difficulty.

Chewing and Eating with New Dentures

The process of learning to chew with your new dentures typically takes six to eight weeks. Patience is essential when learning to eat with your dentures. Most patients start by limiting their diet to soft foods that are easy to chew. By taking small bites and chewing slowly you will gradually learn to eat foods that are more difficult. If possible, learn to chew on both sides of your dentures at the same time. The lower denture rarely has a good retention as the upper. Since the muscles of the cheeks, lips and tongue will tend to displace your dentures, do not develop the habit of displacing them with these muscles. Rather, train these muscles to assist in keeping your dentures in place.

When biting with dentures, place the food between the teeth toward the corner of the mouth rather than between the front teeth. This will help you to reduce the movement of the dentures on the ridges. If you have trouble keeping your lower denture in place during eating it may be the result of poor tongue habits. The tongue should touch the inner surface of the lower denture to help stabilize it when eating. You may also find it helpful to purchase a denture adhesive such as Fixodent cream or powder.

Future Treatment and Care of Dentures

We recommend annual exams for our patients that do have dentures. At that exam we can check the fit and function of your dentures as well as perform an essential oral cancer screening. If you feel your dentures “loosening” over time a reline may be required. We recommend that you store your denture in a case with fresh water when you are not wearing them and keep your dentures out of reach of pets.

For daily maintenance, a non-abrasive cleaner specifically designed for dentures should be used, such as Polident or even liquid dish soap, with a denture brush. If there is metal on your denture, make sure that you use chlorine free or metal safe denture cleaners. Dentures should be cleaned after every meal if possible. If full cleaning is not possible, a thorough rinse with clean water is encouraged. If you smoke or drink coffee/tea on a frequent basis, your dentures will stain more easily and may require more frequent cleaning.