Dental implants can restore your smile, confidence, and oral health. With the proper care and maintenance, those benefits can last for years to come. Much like our natural teeth, dental implants require regular, daily care to keep them clean and comfortable while ensuring comfort and decreasing the risk of future issues.
If you’re about to or have recently received dental implants, these tips can help you maintain a healthy and happy smile.
Brush & Floss Regularly
Flossing and brushing your teeth twice daily is an important step in maintaining the health of your natural teeth, and your implants are no different. Regular brushing and flossing will keep your implants clean and free of plaque. In addition to morning and evening care, cleaning your implants after meals is also a crucial step in maintaining implants.
Choose the Right Toothbrush
If you’ve been brushing with a medium or hard bristle toothbrush, it’s time to switch to a soft bristle brush. Bristles that are too hard can scratch your implants and irritate your gums.
In many cases, a soft nylon brush is an effective tool. However, if you feel you need additional support, consider using a brush specifically designed for dental implants. There are various brushes designed to simplify dental implant care. This includes interdental brushes, tufted brushes, and brushes with angled necks, all of which make it easier to clean hard-to-reach places.
Avoid Harsh Oral Care Products
You may be tempted to stick with toothpaste or mouthwash, you’ve always used, but doing so may not be wise. Abrasive oral care products can irritate your mouth and cause discomfort. Instead, opt for toothpaste and mouthwash that have been deemed suitable for sensitive teeth and gums. If you’re not sure what products to use, consult your periodontist for a recommendation.
Avoid “Problem” Foods
Certain foods are more likely to damage your implants. Avoiding or limiting them can save you from unnecessary implant damage and subsequent pain. Here are a few foods that can cause problems, especially immediately following your dental implant surgery:
- Hard or crunchy foods (e.g., chips, hard taco shells, popcorns, tortillas)
- Raw, crunchy fruits and veggies (e.g., carrots, apples)
- Ice cubes
- Sticky or tacky candies (e.g., caramels, gum, taffy, hard candies)
Be Prepare for Dental-Care on the Go
Many of us dine outside our home during the day, and that makes it difficult to keep implants clean between morning and evening brushings. Keep a small toothbrush, dental floss, and even mouthwash in your car, purse, gym bag, or desk to ensure that you’re always prepared.
Maintain a Healthy Relationship with Your Dentist and Periodontist
Scheduling regular teeth cleanings and seeing your periodontist or dentist at the first sign of an issue is an essential part of maintaining and caring for your dental implants. Not only will these experts help you address any concerns, but they’ll also be able to spot potential problems before they become serious setbacks.
Incorporating these tips will help you care for your dental implants and maintain a healthy mouth and long-lasting oral health. Not sure if you’re on the right path? Contact us today. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and help you on your road to a happy, confident, and pain-free smile.