Do you have dental implants? If so, you know how important it is to keep them looking their best. For example, Colgate suggests brushing dental implants up to three times per day, depending on your oral health and the type of implants you have.
While they are a more permanent solution to missing teeth than traditional dentures or bridges, they still need proper maintenance and care to stay healthy and strong over the years.
Read on to learn simple tips for cleaning and caring for your dental implant so you can preserve its health for years to come!
The Importance of an Implant Maintenance Routine
Like natural teeth, dental implants require proper care and attention. This helps prevent complications, such as gum disease or infections, leading to further dental issues or possible implant loss.
You can safeguard your investment by adhering to a consistent oral hygiene routine. More than that, though, you can maintain your oral health. This includes brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash.
Furthermore, scheduling regular dental checkups and cleanings allows a dental implant specialist to monitor the condition of the implants. They’ll check the surrounding gum tissue. Then, they’ll address any issues early on and offer advice on best practices for at-home care.
Implant Cleaning Tools
To effectively clean your implants, a water flosser is a fantastic investment. It can gently yet thoroughly dislodge food particles and plaque buildup from those hard-to-reach areas around the implants.
Unlike traditional flossing methods, a water flosser ensures that hard-to-reach areas around the implant are thoroughly cleaned, effectively removing plaque and bacteria. Additionally, the gentle pressure of water pulsations stimulates gum tissue. This helps reduce inflammation and prevent gum diseases like gingivitis.
In addition to a water flosser, special toothbrushes designed to navigate the implant structures will enhance your cleaning efforts. We’ll explore these below, so sit tight.
Dental Implant Cleaning Tips
Keeping your implants clean is crucial to avoid complications like infections or gum inflammation. However, the cleaning steps you need to follow depend on the types of dental implants you have.
Cleaning single implants is best with a soft-bristled toothbrush. It’s gentle on the gums and helps prevent bleeding or damage.
Worried it’s too soft? Don’t. Soft bristles can eliminate tartar and plaque buildup just as well as their medium or hard-bristled counterparts. Use this brush with low-abrasive toothpaste and brush your teeth at least twice daily.
Finally, ensure you’re flossing regularly!
Taking care of your all-on-four implants can feel daunting, but it’s relatively easy and similar to maintaining single implants.
One key difference, however, lies in how food particles have a knack for getting trapped between the base of the bridge and the gum line. This can increase the risk of infection if not dealt with diligently.
So to keep your all-on-four implants pristine, we recommend using a rubber-tip stimulator with a water flosser. This will effectively dislodge any stubborn food pieces hiding in those hard-to-reach spots.
Then, instead of reaching for a soft-bristled toothbrush, opt for a sulcus brush. It’ll help clean around the implants and maintain optimal oral hygiene.
To clean overdentures, use a specialized denture brush.
The brush’s unique design features two heads. It has a soft-bristled flat head that can cater to smooth surfaces. It also has a single-tuft head equipped with tapered bristles that can effortlessly navigate those hard-to-reach areas of your overdenture.
At night, take your dentures out and soak them overnight. Thoroughly clean them with water the next morning. Additionally, regularly inspect your dentures for any signs of damage or wear. This will indicate when it may be time to consult your dentist for repairs or replacement.
Other Maintenance Tips
Maintaining your dental implants isn’t just about keeping them clean. That’s perhaps the most important part of long-term upkeep. However, you can do several other things to engage in a proper implant maintenance routine.
Avoid Hard Foods
Hard foods like nuts and candy can wreak havoc on your implants and potentially even break them. To preserve your implants and your smile, make conscious food choices. Steer clear of hard foods such as candies, nuts, and ice. And never chew on non-food items such as pens.
Wear a Mouthguard
Do you tend to grind or clench your teeth frequently? If so, a mouthguard can be a lifesaver for your precious implants. A well-fitted mouthguard creates a cushioning effect, shielding your dental implants from the relentless pressure and strain that grinding and clenching can inflict on your teeth.
Attend Regular Checkups
One of the most effective ways to ensure the wellness of your dental implants is by attending your regular checkup appointments with your dentist. They’ll also be able to look for any other signs of gum disease or oral health issues. This allows for early detection and timely intervention if any problems arise.
Speak With a Dental Implant Specialist
Speaking with a dental implant specialist is the perfect place to start if you have questions about dental implant maintenance. During a general consultation, you can discuss your unique dental needs and evaluate implant options best suited for your circumstances.
How does it work? It’s different at every clinic. However, most will provide tailored treatment plans promoting long-term oral health success. The idea is to work with you to help you achieve your dream smile while ensuring your oral health and the functionality of your teeth and mouth remain at the forefront.
Schedule a Dental Implant Appointment
Considering a solution for missing or damaged teeth? Dental implants may be the ideal option. This innovative procedure involves completely extracting the affected tooth and replacing it with a durable, custom-made artificial one directly anchored into the gums.
Although this method demands a more complex procedure, our compassionate team of experts is committed to guiding you through every step. We’ll help you determine if a dental implant is right for you.
Ready to explore your options? Contact us today to discuss how we can help you create a dental restoration plan.