Tips for Caring for Your Dental Implants

Dental implants help restore your smile and improve functionality in the rest of the teeth. With the availability of affordable dental implants and a whole wealth of information on dental implant procedures and care, dental implants are rapidly becoming a popular choice for many people in America. The dental implant prevalence is projected to increase from 5.7% to 23% by 2026. If you are planning to get dental implants or already have them, it’s critical that you know how to take care of them to avoid other dental problems such as the development of gum disease and bleeding gums. Here are a few tips to help keep your dental implants in check.

Brush Teeth Thoroughly

This may seem rather obvious, but it’s more important that you brush your teeth more carefully, thoroughly and use the correct brush. There are special toothbrushes designed for patients who have dental implants. These toothbrushes can reach certain areas of the tooth that regular brushes cannot. Brush your teeth for 2 to 5 minutes twice daily to ensure you remove any food particles from the teeth.

Use Mild Teeth Products

Whether it’s toothpaste or mouthwash, you want to ensure that you avoid abrasive products that can cause extreme discomfort, especially after getting your implants. You also want to avoid oral hygiene products like cinnamon and mint, which have intense flavors, as they can lead to sensitivity and discomfort.

Avoid Hard Sticky Foods

Your dentist must have already mentioned this to you—stay away from hard, sticky foods. While there is no nutritional problem with eating sticky or hard foods, there is a reason why you might want to skip these foods once you get your dental implants. Hard foods can damage your implants, while sticky foods may not be easy to remove, leading to other dental problems. These foods include hard candies, carrots, apples, crusty bread, hard-shell tacos, caramel, and steak.

Avoid Taking Alcohol or Smoking

Whether you have dental implants or not, smoking leads to loss of bone within the jaw, increasing the risk of leukoplakia.  It’s okay to take a couple of drinks, but too much alcohol can lead to sensitivity, which can cause pain and discomfort. If possible, it’s more important to avoid these substances if you have dental implants. Remember dental implants take six months to heal. Therefore, smoking during this period might not be a good idea. Alcohol also slows down the healing process.

Floss Daily

Flossing is an important dental practice that helps get rid of food particles. However, many people don’t take flossing seriously. In fact, only 16 percent of American adults floss daily, according to recent research. When you get dental implants, flossing becomes two times more necessary. It removes food particles and prevents bacteria build-up that leads to cavities. When flossing, be gentle and use quality dental floss. There are unique types of floss designed for people with dental implants.  It’s even better if you remember to floss after every meal.

See Your Dentists Regularly

Dental implants require extra care from a qualified dentist. Schedule regular visits to your dentist to make sure all your dental implants are working effectively.  Observe all changes and pay attention to discomforts in the gum tissue or chewing problems. You can use this opportunity to report any abnormalities in the implants and ask questions for better dental hygiene and care.

Avoid Exposing Your Teeth to Extreme Temperatures After Surgery

If you’re having tea, hot chocolate, coffee, or any other hot beverage, allow it to cool before sipping. After the surgery, your gum is still healing from the incision made through it. Taking hot drinks can cause excessive bleeding, which can be problematic for the surgical site. Similarly, stay away from ice. Ice can damage your implants.