When you think about cosmetic dentistry, the treatments you probably imagine are things like tooth whitening, orthodontic straightening, veneers and crowns. With these treatments, the people who seek them are typically trying to correct a problem or alter something they perceive as negative.
However, there's one cosmetic dentistry treatment that falls into a different category: the application of tooth jewels. These are chosen purely for the purpose of adding a little something extra to the smile, rather than changing something undesirable. If you decide to have a gem attached to a tooth, here's what you need to know about the aftercare you'll have to do.
Let the glue set
Once you've had the jewel fixed to your tooth, the glue will take a little while to set. During this time, the jewel can easily be moved or knocked off by accident, so you need to be careful with it. It's best to avoid eating or drinking for six hours, which will help ensure the glue is thoroughly hardened and the jewel is fixed firmly in place. After this time, you can go back to your normal routine.
Keep it clean
Although dental hygiene is always important, you'll need to take particular care if you have a gem. Along with eating and drinking, don't commence brushing your teeth until six hours have passed. When you do, pay extra attention to the jewel and the area around it, as it can be a hot spot for the build-up of plaque. It's worth investing in some small inter-dental brushes, which can be used to thoroughly clean the edges of the jewel and keep plaque well away. If you notice any plaque building up despite your efforts, you may need to see a dental hygienist.
Take care with food
Hard or sticky foods can pull the jewel right off the tooth, so be careful if you're eating anything that fits this bill. Although it's not likely to cause any serious problems, it could be uncomfortable to have it ripped off so suddenly and could potentially damage your tooth enamel.
No longer want it?
Tooth jewels typically last six months or more, but they will eventually fall off of their own accord, as the glue is not designed to be permanent. However, if you decide for any reason that you don't want it anymore, a dentist can remove it for you. Alternatively, you may be able to do it yourself by using dental floss to get behind the gem, but proceed very carefully if you decide to do this, and don't force it.