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Specifics of Oral Hygiene for Patients with Composite Tooth Restorations

 When, how and with what to maintain personal oral hygiene after the restorative treatment of tooth defects with composite materials is a big question consisting of several smaller ones:

  • How soon can one brush one's teeth after the restoration?
  • What can be used to clean one's teeth in such situations?
  • What toothbrushes and toothpastes should one use?
  • Is it all right to use colored mouthwash liquids or freshly brewed herbal infusions?
  • How often can one brush one's teeth after the restoration?
  • How long should the hygiene procedure take?
  • How hard should the toothbrush bristles be?
  • How abrasive should the toothpaste be?

The answers to these questions can be subdivided into two groups:

  • the first group relates to the specifics of maintaining personal oral hygiene and the means of maintaining it immediately after the restorative tooth treatment and within immediate several hours;
  • the second group relates to the specifics of maintaining personal oral hygiene long after the restoration.

Requirements for personal oral hygiene prescriptions for the immediate hours after the restorative treatment of tooth defects are more strict due to the chemical processes that continue occurring inside the filling/restoration for 72 hours after their making. These processes determine the restrictions the patients need to be warned about in order to avoid any unpleasant explanations in case of color or texture change of restoration caused by improper use of means of personal oral hygiene. Besides that, in the first hours after the restoration it is not recommended to use for eating, rinsing, drinking or chewing any toothpastes with such colorants as fennel or toothpastes and pills for indication of calculus, means containing strong and fast natural and artificial colorants.

When a person has composite-based restorations it is not advisable to use toothpastes based on strong and aggressive abrasives, as well as the ones with a high percentage of abrasives, even if they are only of middle abrasive strength. Preference should be given to such low-abrasive toothpastes as Sensitive or children toothpastes. It is especially important within the first 24 hours after the restoration. Appearance of roughness will not only affect the color characteristics of the filling, but will facilitate easier sticking of microorganisms to the surface. For the same reasons, it is not recommended to use tooth brushes with hard and very hard bristles, and if a tooth brush is used multiple times during the day, its bristles should be soft.

One should not use freshly brewed stocks, herbal infusions, as under their influence the rough greyish calculus will appear momentarily.

The oral hygiene procedure after the installation of a filling or several restorations may depend on several circumstances:

  • if the patient cleans teeth several times a day, the only allowed brush is the one with soft bristles, and the the paste should only be low-abrasive;
  • yet, if the patient has a habit of brushing the teeth quickly for several seconds and only once or maximum two times a day, then it is acceptable to use medium-hard tooth brushes and medium abrasive toothpastes.

 Only constant and quality oral hygiene can prolong the service life of the fillings and restorations for many years. At the same time it is necessary to use the full range of hygiene means and methods. First of all, one should remember that it is necessary to brush one's teeth after each meal rather than, twice a day, therefor each person should simultaneously posses two tooth brushes rather than one – one for home and one for work. Preference should be given to the tooth brushes that belong to the preventive/periodontological medium-hardness group, the ones with rounded bristle tips, indication of wear level and microtextured bristles, with medium-sized tops.

Another crucial means is dental floss, which should be used after each meal rather than once a day. Mouth rinses are always more convenient than elixirs, as the former are ready-made formulas that can be used in any conditions. The best option is to use them after every meal.

It is better to use chewing gums when it is impossible to brush one's teeth and only for a short time after eating. It is better to avoid eating outside, when it is impossible to use means of hygiene.

Smokers need to consider that more often hygiene procedures allow them to avoid the unpleasant smoker's tartar and keep the teeth lighter and healthier, and keep the breath fresh.

In all population groups the repetition of hygiene procedures several times a day will promote supporting the fresh breath, which is of some importance in all life situations.

Regular and quality oral hygiene is essential in the struggle to preserving not only the teeth, but also the restorations. Only the joint efforts of the doctor and the patient can preserve the teeth, their beauty, functionality and attractiveness for life, otherwise no "super fillings" can help.