Care For Dental ImplantsImplants are devices that replace the root or roots of missing teeth. Once replaced, just like our natural roots even dental implants will not be visible. They are used to support crown, bridges or dentures. Implants are surgically placed in your jawbone. Most of the time, implants feel more natural and secure than other methods of replacing missing teeth, such as dentures. They are even stronger than natural teeth. Most dental implants done at our San Francisco office, are successful and if taken proper care they will last a lifetime. Good oral hygiene must take place before, during, and after placement of dental implants to ensure the health of the implant.
Some of the steps which we can take to care for our dental implants are:
- Practice good oral hygiene: Brush twice a day and floss once daily to remove bacterial plaque. Stay hydrated because water helps keep bacteria at bay. Avoid sweet and sticky foods as much as possible; gorge on raw vegetables and fruits instead.
- Quit smoking: Smoking can weaken the bone structure and can contribute to implant failure. It also increases the occurrence of Peri-implantitis along with the periodontal disease. Smoking causes tartar to build up on your teeth, which looks unsightly and ruins the appearance of your implants.
- Avoid chewing on hard foods: Don’t chew on hard items such as ice and hard candy because they can break the crown and natural teeth.
- Use fluoride: Dental implants are strong and resistant to cavities and disease. However, natural teeth and gums are not. To minimize the risk of decay in your natural teeth, use fluoride toothpaste and/or rinse. Plaque may not cause oral hygiene problems for your dental implants, but it can still stick to them and cause problems for your natural teeth and gums.
- Use a good toothbrush: Using interdental brushes, brushes that slide between teeth, can help clean the hard to reach areas around your implant. It allows for more maneuverability and helps with post-surgical care and dental implant maintenance. It is recommended to use a soft toothbrush.
- Floss daily: Your toothbrush cannot reach the crevices between your teeth, which makes your mouth a playground for bacteria, which can lead to dental diseases. Floss daily to remove any debris buildup that forms between your teeth and get rid of bad breath.
- Avoid too much sugar: Dental implants don’t decay. However, sugar is still the primary reason for plaque buildup which causes gum disease. Since our gums are vulnerable to plaque buildup, dental implants come at a risk. In order to avoid the plaque buildup, it is important to consume it in the right quantity. However, if you cannot resist the temptation and end up eating junk food, rinse your mouth immediately after.
- Visit your dentist regularly: Cleanings and exams every six months can help ensure your implant is in good condition, and that it stays that way. The dental hygienist has an important role to play in order to keep your dental implants infection-free. If you become aware of any problems such as unexpected pain or bleeding, you should immediately take your dentist’s appointment as it could be something serious.