Can you give me advice? I am bulimic. I’ve talked to my doctor about it. He’s having me go to an outpatient treatment center. In the meantime, I’ve realized my teeth are in horrible shape. What can I do to fix them? I will be honest with you and admit that I still sometimes purge, but I am working on it.
Yes, there are some specific things you can do, both to minimize any further damage and to make your teeth more attractive.
The acid from your purging really takes its toll on your tooth enamel. The signs of bulimia usually take about three years before they are evident. I don’t know how long you’ve struggled with this eating disorder. The longer you have, the more damage will be evident. First, let’s talk about the things you can do, and then we’ll cover what you’ll need from a dentist.
- Do not brush your teeth immediately after purging. I know that might be your first instinct; however, the only thing you will do is grind the acid into your tooth enamel. The first thing to do is rinse your mouth out with water. This will help to neutralize the acid before you brush.
- Make sure you brush often throughout the day.
- It is also extremely important that you drink a lot of water. Sometimes bulimics suffer from dry mouth. This is unfortunate, because our saliva contains minerals and enzymes to help you fight the bacteria in your mouth. Without the additional saliva needed, the water becomes even more essential in order to make up for what you’re lacking from your saliva.
Now for what your dentist can do. The most important thing is that you find an expert cosmetic dentist. Cosmetic dentistry is not a recognized specialty. Therefore, any general dentist can call themselves a cosmetic dentist. Look for someone who is AACD accredited. Then you’ll be assured you have someone who is both skilled and artistic. If you don’t get an expert in cosmetic dentistry, you will end up with a smile you don’t like. That will not help your bulimia treatment. To help give you a pretty smile back, you might want to get all-porcelain crowns put on your teeth. This won’t completely protect them from your purging, but it will help some while simultaneously making them more attractive.
This blog is brought to you by Grosse Pointe Woods Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Theodore Hadgis.