One of the most important things you can do before, during, and after getting dental implants is to practice proper oral care. With effective oral hygiene, you can ensure optimum healing with an implant procedure.
When you don’t look after your dental implants, plaque can build up around them, just as with your natural teeth. This leads to gingivitis, bleeding gums, and a host of other conditions that affect the results of your procedure.
Dr. Shaun Alex and the team at District Cosmetic Dental want your dental implant experience to be a positive and successful one. When you get your dental implants, you receive detailed aftercare instructions to help keep your new smile healthy and shining. Taking care of your investment ensures that your smile remains radiant for years to come. Here are three helpful tips:
1. Choose the right toothbrush
As much for your natural teeth as for your dental implants, it’s important to choose the best toothbrush for your oral care needs. Dr. Alex can discuss with you the best toothbrush option for your smile.
In addition to standard manual or powered toothbrushes, interdental toothbrushes allow for greater maneuverability and are designed to clean between teeth and around crowns, bridges, and braces. They tackle interproximal plaque, helping keep the spaces around your dental implant healthier.
2. Floss every day
There are many different types of dental floss on the market. Some are designed especially for use with your dental implants. It’s important to floss every day to prevent the buildup of plaque around your implants and surrounding teeth.
Sometimes, you might need to use a floss threader or even a special type of floss that’s made with a built-in threader. These are particularly handy for cleaning around hard-to-reach spots.
3. Use fluoride
Dental implants are incredibly strong, and they’re also resistant to disease and cavities. Your natural gums and teeth aren’t. A fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinse reduces the risk of decay in natural teeth, which in turn helps support your implants.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day. You should also brush after meals, carefully cleaning the surfaces of all your dental implants the same way you do with your teeth. While plaque won’t necessarily cause oral hygiene issues for your implants, it can still get stuck to them and cause problems for your gums and natural teeth.
The risks of not caring for your dental implants
Without proper daily care, your dental implants can develop problems, such as bacterial infection. The earliest signs of implant problems start when you notice inflamed gums and even bleeding. In the worst cases, infection can lead to bone loss in the jaw, which holds your implant in place. Called peri-implantitis, bone loss cannot be reversed and can lead to further complications.
What to watch out for
Between your regular dental checkups, pay attention to how your implants look and feel. Be on the lookout for:
- A wobbly or loose implant
- Food getting stuck around the implant crown
- Redness or swelling around the site of your implant
- Pain when biting
- Difficulty chewing
If you notice any of these red flags, contact us right away. It could mean something is wrong with your dental implant that requires immediate treatment to prevent the risk of infection.
With proper daily care, your dental implants remain plaque-free and healthy. If you have any concerns or questions about your at-home implant care, or if you’re due for a checkup, book an appointment online today or call District Cosmetic Dental in Washington, D.C., to schedule your next visit.