If you recently got dental implants or plan to get some this year, you’re going to want to take care of them. This will assure they continue to look great and last for a long time. After all, a great-looking smile is proven to boost confidence and self-esteem. You don’t want to lose any of those things!
Dental implant care isn’t too complicated, but you must know what to do and commit to doing it. This guide will help you take care of your own dental implants.
Brush and Floss Every Day
Just because dental implants aren’t real teeth doesn’t mean that brushing and flossing don’t matter anymore. They do! As with real teeth, you have to brush twice a day, for two minutes each time, and you have to floss once each day. The benefit isn’t just keeping your implants clean. Brushing and flossing also remove food and debris that accumulate around the base of the implants, and it removes bacteria and plaque as well. Not doing so routinely creates a risk of gum disease.
Have Dental Supplies Up to the Job
It’s always important to have the right tools for any job. For dental implant care, that begins with a soft, bristled toothbrush that can reach the back of your mouth. If your brushing technique could use some work and you know it’s probably not going to improve, you should consider using an electric toothbrush. (Consult with your dentist about the right type of electric toothbrush for use with implants.)
A floss threader can make that part of the job easier, and you can also try water flossers, which are easier to work with than regular floss and which do a great job cleaning around dental implants.
Change Out Your Toothbrush Regularly
Have you ever had an old, worn toothbrush that you took forever to replace? Of course you have! The more you use a toothbrush, the more the bristles fray, fade, and lose their proper shape. This means your toothbrush is working less effectively.
Dentists recommend you replace your toothbrush every three months. However, you may need to switch it out sooner if the bristles are worn. That way, your toothbrush properly removes plaque and bacteria from your implants. It also helps prevent bacteria from building up on your brush; the idea of brushing is not to put germs back into your mouth!
Avoid Foods and Activities That Can Damage Your Implants
Dental implants are strong and durable, but they aren’t indestructible or damage-proof. Really hard foods can damage implants. Habitual activities such as opening packages or holding things with your teeth, biting your fingernails, and chewing on pens or ice can also damage implants over time. Grinding and clenching teeth can also cause major problems.
Since many people grind and clench teeth in their sleep, a night guard is a good way to protect implants. All of the other habits may need broken naturally. Think of implants as a motive to finally do that!
Drink More Water
Water is critical to survival, of course, and most people don’t drink enough of it. It’s also good for dental implants.
For starters, drinking water, though not as effective as brushing teeth, is a good way to clean the mouth when brushing isn’t possible. For instance, in the middle of a meeting or when you’re on the go. Also, the more water you drink, the less you’re drinking beverages like coffee, soda, and tea that can stain teeth and implants.
Water also stimulates saliva production, and saliva helps get rid of extra food and bacteria. Saliva also neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth.
Visit Your Dentist Twice a Year
Just as getting implants doesn’t mean you don’t have to brush your teeth anymore; it also doesn’t mean you don’t have to see a dentist anymore. You should still be seeing your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. The dentist can inspect your implants, gums, and any remaining natural teeth. Your dental professional can also regularly recommend any necessary treatments or changes in oral care.
At Poling Family Dental Care, serving Pittsburgh’s South Hills area, we can install state-of-the-art dental implants and provide routine care for them in addition to providing all traditional dental care services.
If you’re thinking about getting implants or already have them and are looking for a great family-oriented practice, just schedule an appointment or consultation today! We look forward to meeting you!