How To Care For Your Dental Implants

The care of your dental implants is pretty similar to how you should care for natural teeth. You will need to brush and floss twice a day to keep them clean and free from plaque. It’s really important to clean them after meals; do this with a gentle brushing on all sides of the implant. Here are some tips and common questions you may deal with when you are considering getting implants, are about to have implants, or have already gotten dental implants.

Commit to performing daily dental hygiene at home as well as regular visits to your dentist.

See your dentist every three to six months for an exam and cleaning. Additionally, the implants should be thoroughly examined with an x-ray once a year. If you need to find a dentist to help with your dental implants, consider Trillium Dental for additional assistance.

Use aids to keep your implants clean.

These may include a small, soft, manual toothbrush or electric toothbrush; dental floss to clean around the abutments; and a low-abrasive, tartar-control toothpaste. Your implant doctor may also suggest that you use an antimicrobial mouth rinse, disclosing tablets that will stain plaque accumulations, and inter-dental brushes to help get at the plaque between the teeth on either side of your implant(s).

If you don’t take proper care of your implants, you may develop problems such as bleeding, caused by inflammation of the gums, called mucositis.

If not caught early enough, this could progress to bone loss, also called peri-implantitis. Bone loss isn’t reversible, and if not treated soon enough, you could suffer from advanced bone loss and eventually, removal of the implant. To learn more about mucositis, visit The Oral Cancer Foundation for more info and resources.

The typical implant is designed to last 20 years.

Each patient is different, and the longevity of each implant could be affected by each person’s tobacco usage, nutrition, overall health, and oral hygiene.

There is a time frame of about three months where the implant will form its bond to the bone.

During this time you should avoid foods like steak, nuts, sweets, toffee, and apples, or anything else you really need to chew. Stick to soft foods like smoothies, pasta, fish, and rice.

Once you have given your implants three months to really form a bond, you can eat anything you want; however, you should avoid very hot foods and liquids, and you should also avoid eating or drinking cold and hot liquids or foods together. First off, dental implants are made from metal, and retain heat a lot more than your natural teeth. Very hot liquids can cause the implant both to heat up, stay hot, and burn a thin layer of cells around your implant.

Repeated and ongoing damage of those cells could potentially cause the loss of the implant. Next, the crown on your implant is made from porcelain, which means it contracts with cold and expands with heat. If you drink something that is very cold and then drink something that is very hot, the porcelain could crack or chip.

Always tell the hygienist or person cleaning your teeth that you have implants.

They look just like regular teeth with crowns, and that person won’t be able to tell they are dental implants unless they look at the x-rays. Implant teeth should be cleaned with different instruments to avoid scratching, and not too vigorously, as this can damage the seal attachment between your gums and the implant.

Your dentist will check at every cleaning visit for looseness, check all of the components to ensure they are functioning properly, and will check your bite. He or she should also probe and measure the gums around the implant.

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