Dental implants look and feel like your natural teeth. And, unlike dentures, they are secured in your jaw. That means you don’t have to worry about them coming loose.
Because of these aesthetic and practical benefits, implants are becoming more popular here in the UK. In fact, about 10,000 implant procedures are performed in the lower jaw every year.
If you have implants, you may know already how long-lasting they are. With proper care, most implants can last a lifetime.
What does dental implant care consist of? Is there anything special you need to do for your implants? This article will answer those questions and more. Let’s go!
Post Implant Care: What You Need to Know
You can’t get cavities in your implants. That’s a good thing. But, you’re still at risk of periodontal disease.
Maintaining healthy gum tissue is key for the long-term success of your implant. Once gum disease sets in, you’re at risk for bone loss.
If left unchecked, your implant will eventually have nothing to hold onto, and it will fall out. Nobody wants that, especially since implants are so expensive to begin with.
In what follows, then, let’s see how to brush, floss, and take care of your implant. Ensuring the health of your gum tissue means your beautiful smile will last for years to come. Read on!
Cleaning Dental Implants With the Right Toothpaste
Dental implants today have a rough implant surface. It helps with osseointegration. That’s a fancy word describing how the metal of the implant connects successfully with your bone.
That connection is why your implant stays firmly rooted in your jaw. Clearly, you don’t want to use any product that wears away at your implant’s rough surface. It would make the implant much less secure.
For these reasons, using a low-abrasive toothpaste will prolong the life of your implant. Stay away from any toothpaste with the following ingredients:
- Stannous fluoride
- Sodium fluoride
- Baking soda
- Stain removers
Also, avoid any kind of smoker’s toothpaste.
Following this simple rule is key to a long-lasting implant. In the next section, let’s look at how you brush your implant and how often you need to do it.
Brushing: How to Clean Dental Implants Properly
What kind of toothbrush you use is less important than your brushing technique and how often you brush. In fact, studies have shown no difference between sonic, manual, or electric toothbrushes.
Whatever type of toothbrush you use, make sure it has soft bristles. Again, you don’t want to wear away at the implant’s surface.
Some people find interproximal brushes to be helpful. They are small brushes designed to get into the gaps between teeth, and they can help you clean hard-to-reach areas. Choose one with nylon bristles (no metal wires) so as not to scratch the implant’s surface.
Most important of all is good brushing technique. It helps prevent periodontal disease in all your teeth. This includes your implant.
As you brush, concentrate on one tooth at a time, covering all its surfaces. Also, try to brush for at least two minutes a day. You can set a timer or sing a song to yourself to make sure you’re brushing long enough.
In the next section, we’ll go over flossing. It’s also an essential component of your implant’s long-term success.
How To Floss Dental Implants
There are many types of floss to choose from. The best kind to use for your dental implant is unwaxed tape. It will protect the gum tissue surrounding your implant.
In addition, you may find a floss threader to be helpful. This is especially true if your implant is connected to a bridge or bar. They allow you to reach around and clean tight, small spaces.
When you floss, you want to make sure you work not only on the implant but also the peri-implant crevice. This is where the implant meets your gum line.
It is a favourite place for bacteria to congregate and can also fill with plaque. Those factors make this area especially prone to inflammation. Make sure, then, to keep an eye on it.
But, what if you floss regularly (and well) and are still prone to inflammation?
This could be the result of genetics, or it could be problems with dexterity. In either of those cases, you might want to consider using an antimicrobial mouth rinse in addition to brushing and flossing.
Or think about getting an oral irrigator or water flosser. They blast out jets of water, removing food bits quickly and easily. Water flossers are also gentle on the gums, even as they allow you to thoroughly clean any crevices or pockets.
In the next and final section, let’s see how often you need to see your dentist to for proper implant care.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
The final tip for implant care is to see your dentist on a regular basis. Every three to six months you should have a professional cleaning and exam. The dentist also needs to take a yearly x-ray of your implant.
They can assess whether your home care regimen is working and recommend any changes if it’s not. They will also look for inflammation or gum disease and work to halt its progress.
Maybe you need to add a mouth rinse or use a different kind of floss. A quality dental professional will make sure you’re treating your dental implants properly.
Conclusion: Dental Implant Care
With proper dental implant care, your implant can last for years to come. You’ll have a beautiful smile without the wobbly and unstable teeth associated with dentures.
If you have implants already, we hope you’ve found this article helpful. If you’re considering them, make sure to use a professional who can do the job right. Problems from cheap dental implants can haunt you for years to come.
We are a family-run practice. We offer everything from regular check-ups to teeth replacement, whitening, and straightening.
Feel free to contact us today to ask about our services. We’d love to hear from you!