Unlike dentures, dental implants are permanently fixed in the mouth, so maintaining them requires a little more effort. But caring for your dental implants can be easy when you follow these tips consistently.
Clean your implants regularly.
An interdental brush is a small brush that you can use to clean in between your teeth, and it’s ideal for cleaning around dental implants. The small bristles can reach places a toothbrush cannot. When combined with flossing, interdental brushes are effective in removing plaque and dirt in between teeth and gums.
If you have trouble flossing around your dental implants, try using a floss threader. This device is a long, thin piece of flexible plastic with a loop at one end. The threader helps you guide the floss through the tight spaces in between your teeth.
A water flosser or irrigator is another option for cleaning around dental implants. This device shoots a stream of water at your teeth and gums to remove plaque and debris.
Know what you can and cannot eat
With dental implants, you can retain 90% of your chewing ability. So you can eat almost anything that you can cut with a fork. But be careful when biting down on hard objects like bones, ice cubes or pens as this can damage your implants.
In the days after receiving your dental implant, you should avoid food that is crunchy, hard to chew or hard to remove from your teeth. Your gum will be tender so stick to food that is easy to eat like yogurt, cheese, pureed fruits and vegetables, and ground meats.
If food is hard to chew, or hard to remove from the teeth, then it’s best to avoid them altogether. Avoid sugary food and drinks as they are high in phosphoric and citric acid. The acid eats into the enamel of the teeth and causes erosion. Foods like caramel or gummy bears can get stuck in between your teeth and around your implants, which can lead to decay.
Add new habits to your routine.
See your dentist regularly for a cleaning and check-up. They will be able to tell if your implants are healthy and free from infection. They’ll also clean your implants and remove any plaque or tartar that has built up.
Smoking can also damage your new implants. Bacteria can collect around the gum and bone – a condition called peri-implantitis – which leads to infection and inflammation. Smokers are more at risk to this condition because of the chemicals present in cigarettes.
Drinking alcohol can also slow down the healing process, so most dentists will recommend abstaining from alcohol in the first few days after getting your implants. But just like cigarettes, alcohol contains substances that can damage your gums and implants. So be sure to consider this into your oral hygiene routines.
Let us help you get your smile back.
Dental implants are a great way to improve your smile and confidence. With proper care, they can last a lifetime. Follow the tips above to keep your dental implants in top condition.
If you’re wondering whether you are a candidate for dental implants, there’s a way to quickly find out. Fill out the application form below to schedule an appointment with us.