Are you looking for ways to keep your dental implants healthy and lasting for years? You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll discuss the best ways to care for your dental implants so you can enjoy a bright and healthy smile for years to come.
Follow Good Oral Hygiene Habits
Good oral hygiene is essential to maintain the health of your dental implants. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily will help keep your gums and teeth healthy. Be sure to clean every surface of each tooth and your gums, as failure to do so can lead to gum disease, infection, and decreased implant life. Be sure to brush gently when brushing around the implant abutment, as too much force can cause damage.
Additionally, it’s important to visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings. Your dentist will monitor the dental implants for any signs of infection or wear and tear. Mouthwash is also recommended for use after brushing in order to kill any remaining bacteria in the mouth, which can help reduce the risk of gum complications related to implants.
If you experience any pain or discomfort when brushing or flossing around an implant abutment, contact your dentist right away as this may be a sign of infection or damage that needs attention.
Avoid Staining Foods and Drinks
When caring for your dental implants, it is important to be mindful of what foods and drinks you consume that have the potential to discolor the implant or surrounding teeth. Eating and drinking certain substances can stain your implant in a manner that cannot be removed.
Tobacco is one of the most notorious offenders when it comes to staining teeth and will also lead to discoloration around a dental implant if used, so avoid smoking and chewing tobacco altogether.
In addition, foods with high levels of acid or artificial colorings can also cause staining, so try to limit your intake of items like coffee, red wine, pickles, and deep-colored sauces. If consumed in moderation with thorough brushing afterward, these items should not cause significant discoloration but more frequent use may result in yellowing around your implant.
Smoking can add to implant failure and cause serious risks to your overall health. When an implant is installed, part of the process is to bond titanium with the jawbone. The process of bonding can take between four and twelve weeks depending on how deep the implant is placed in the bone. During this time it is important not to damage or interfere with this bonding by engaging in activities where foreign objects or toxins are entering the body. One such activity is smoking, which has several negative effects on your implants.
The most serious threat smoking poses to implants comes in the form of increased inflammation and blood clotting. There has been significant research that suggests high levels of continual inflammation around dental implants can slow down the healing process, making it harder for your jawbone to accept a dental implant.
Additionally, smoked nicotine and tar impair blood circulation, leading to higher pressure within a small area such as an implanted tooth. Excessive pressure leads to weak healing progress — potentially preventative enough for an implant from becoming successful. Cigarette smoke’s toxins can potentially seep into surrounding areas (as well as directly onto your tongue), further damaging oral tissue and leading to decay which works against creating an environment where dental implants enjoy secure placement over time.
Seek Regular Dental Check-ups
In order to ensure that your dental implant is functioning properly and not at risk for any damage or complications, it is important to make regular check-up appointments with your doctor. During these appointments, your dentist will evaluate the health of your implant as well as inspect any areas of concern. If there are any signs of infection or wear and tear, they may recommend that you come in for early treatment.
Brush and Floss Routinely
Proper brushing and flossing are essential parts of keeping your dental implants healthy. Typically, the best type of toothbrush to use on implants is a soft-bristle brush, as this will help to avoid over-brushing the implants and potentially damaging them. Gentle, circular motions are recommended for brushing, as this helps reduce bacterial plaque buildup and tooth decay.
To properly clean your implants, you should also use dental floss at least once a day. This will help remove food debris and plaque from places that your toothbrush can’t reach. Additionally, it’s important to use the correct type of floss for your implant; this means using specially designed tapes or interdental brushes to provide deep cleaning between teeth.
If you feel like you need more support with cleaning around your implant, mouthwash or antibacterial solutions could also be used for added protection against oral diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis.
Use a Soft Bristle Toothbrush
Using a soft bristle toothbrush is important when caring for your dental implants. Soft-bristled brushes are designed to ensure that the small bristles of the brush can reach all areas. The soft bristles are gentler on the implant, preventing any damage from occurring by reducing pressure when brushing.
Additionally, a softer brush can provide cleaning comfort for those with sensitive mouths or gums. It is recommended to always brush around and beneath your dental implants with special care in order to keep them in optimal condition and free of bacteria and plaque build-up.
To maximize hygiene levels, it is important that your toothbrush is changed every 3 months, or when the bristles start to spread apart and fray.
Carefully Monitor the Fitting of Your Dentures or Partials
If you have decided to choose dental implants to replace missing teeth, it is important to carefully monitor the fitting of your dentures or partials. Dental implants are surgically placed into the jawbone, which helps support and secure the prosthetic teeth in place.
In order for dental implants to function correctly and properly support your dentures or partials, it is important to have them fitted correctly. Your dentist can use a variety of specialized tools in order to ensure that each implant is properly fitted for maximum comfort and stability.
- For instance, castable probes can be used to measure the depth and strength of each implant;
- Silicone impression trays are used to accurately scan the fit of partial and full dentures;
- Calibration instruments are used to measure how far a denture will move when biting down on something hard.
With these tools, your dentist can determine if adjustments need to be made in order for the prosthetic teeth to fit securely against your gums or jawbone.
It is also important that you practice proper oral hygiene with your new dental implants in order to maintain their health and longevity. This includes:
- Brushing twice daily with fluoridated toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush;
- Flossing at least once daily;
- Using an antimicrobial mouthwash;
- Eating a balanced diet with minimal sugar intake;
- Attending regular dental checkups every 6 months;
- Avoiding tobacco products that may cause inflammation of the gums surrounding your implants.
Be Aware of Any Changes in Your Mouth or Tissue Growth
There are a few changes to be aware of when it comes to dental implants. These include any changes in your mouth near the implant, such as redness, swelling, or a feeling of looseness or tenderness—all signs that something is wrong or may be beginning to go wrong. Monitor these things closely and contact your dentist right away if you notice any of them.
In addition, the tissue around your implant should not grow excessively beyond what was first present when the implant was placed; this could indicate serious underlying issues with the implant. Make sure to schedule regular check-ups with your dentist to ensure your implants are functioning correctly and properly maintained.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I brush my dental implants?
It is important to brush your dental implants twice a day just like you would with natural teeth. Make sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste.
Should I floss my dental implants?
Yes, it is still important to floss your dental implants daily. Use an interdental brush or floss threader to help you floss around the implant posts.
How often should I visit the dentist for checkups?
It is recommended to visit the dentist at least twice a year for routine checkups. During these visits, your dentist can check the health of your dental implants and make the necessary adjustments.
In conclusion, managing your overall oral health after undergoing a dental implant procedure is essential in order to protect the longevity and stability of your replacement tooth or teeth. One of the best ways to care for your dental implants is by following regular oral hygiene practices that include:
- Brushing with a soft-bristle brush twice a day.
- Flossing daily or using interdental cleaners to get rid of food debris from hard-to-reach places.
- Visiting your dentist regularly for professional checkups and cleanings.
Additionally, you can extend the life of your implants by safeguarding them from major sources of damage such as excessive force when engaging in sports or grinding your teeth while sleeping. With proper care and maintenance, you can enjoy a beautiful, healthy smile even with missing natural teeth.