Oral Care Following Dental Implant Surgery
The wonderful thing about dental implants is that they look, feel, and function just like natural teeth. And good oral care for dental implants is for the most part the same as for natural teeth, with only a few additional caveats.
Immediately following implant surgery, you need to stick with soft foods and avoid biting down hard on the new implant for a while so your mouth has a chance to heal. But, later on, these 5 tips are about all you'll need to concern yourself with:
- Keep up good dental hygiene. Continue to brush, floss, and use an antiseptic mouth rinse twice daily. Consider using interdental brushes to clean around the implants if that makes it easier, but you can use regular floss too if you're comfortable with that.
- Get regular dental check ups. You should have your teeth (and implants and other dental appliances) cleaned twice per year. Be sure to see your periodontist at least once a year if you have implants to keep an eye on them and make sure they're still in optimal condition.
- Implement a healthy diet. Eating vitamin rich foods and drinking plenty of water will keep your gums, surrounding the implant, healthy as well as your natural teeth.
- Avoid smoking and heavy drinking. Few things like tobacco products and excessive alcohol will do as much damage to your oral health over the long run. And cigarette smoke could stain both natural tooth enamel and the implant crown.
- Be careful what you chew! Don't bite down on ice, hard candy, or bones. It's possible that doing so could crack or dislodge an implant crown - and it could crack a natural tooth's crown as well.
- Most important in your home care---- a new water pic or water flosser. With adjustable power settings it will make it so easy to flush out food particles and loose plaque. And, best of all it is painless and easy. Dr Kenzik has a portable version available for use in the shower.
How Dental Implants Make Oral Care Easier
With dental implants, you only need to follow basic oral care and be sure you see a periodontist regularly - you don't have to go through the extensive, daily cleaning or other drawbacks of traditional dentures or dental bridges.
Here are some of the key advantages implants offer as to ongoing oral care:
- You don't remove them and clean them in special cleaners every day like removable dentures.
- The implants fuse to the bone, so you can chew with them as firmly and naturally as with ordinary teeth.
- Implants don't slip in your mouth or cause painful mouth sores like dentures can.
- Dental implants don't need to be anchored to neighboring teeth like bridges do, thus protecting the health of your remaining natural teeth.
- You can never get a cavity in a dental crown! And the gum tissue will sit safe and healthy around the titanium implant rod and the lower crown.