After years of being unhappy with and self-conscious about your appearance and struggling to eat and speak due to missing teeth, you consult with your dentist and make the decision to get dental implants. Obviously, dental implants are not your natural teeth and the roots that they are attached to are not real.
As a result, it may be tempting to think that you will not have to worry about bacteria and germs that accommodate natural teeth, but neglecting to take care of your dental implants can still lead to conditions similar to gingivitis and periodontitis. They require a great degree of care and below are ways to effectively care for them.
Of course you would never stop brushing just because you got dental implants but there are a few things to be mindful of. While electric or battery-operated toothbrushes are effective in removing plaque and debris from the surfaces of your teeth, the vibration of these can loosen the screws implanted in your gum that hold the crown in place. This would cause you to have to replace the whole implant which would cost you time and money.
Use a soft, low-abrasive toothbrush so you will be able to clean your teeth as required but you will not take the coating off of the actual tooth. Like natural teeth, it is recommended that you brush your dental implants at least twice daily.
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of dental implant failure and the best way to combat this is by flossing. Your toothbrush cannot get every crevice between your teeth and as a result flossing is crucial to keeping your teeth clean and healthy. Flossing will remove any debris from between your teeth that will lead to bacterial build-up. Use unwaxed dental floss in the spaces between each tooth and use a shoeshine motion.
There is also implant-specific floss on the market that will assist you in protecting the tissue around the implant that should be considered. Flossing should be completed at least once daily.
Like natural teeth, you need to see your dentist regularly to ensure your implants are clean and healthy. A visit to your dentist will allow any issues to be identified and you will receive advice regarding how to prevent future problems. Visits will also allow you the opportunity to get a professional cleaning that addresses any plaque and bacteria that your personal cleanings may have missed.
It is recommended that an appointment at your dentist be scheduled every six months to make sure your teeth are in acceptable shape and issues that could cause more serious issues down the road are caught and treated.
4. Watch what you eat
While dental implants may increase the amount of foods you can eat, you still need to be mindful of how they can affect your new teeth. Your implants will allow you to eat and chew as normal but foods and drinks with extreme temperatures should be avoided. Hotter beverages can heat up the screws that hold your teeth in place and could potentially burn the surrounding tissues. Hot and cold foods and beverages consumed together can cause the crowns of the implants to expand and contract which increase the chances of them chipping, loosening, or cracking.
While implants do not decay, too much sugar intake is the main cause of plaque build-up that causes gum disease and it can also affect the coating on the tooth. Limiting the amount of sugar you eat will allow your implants to be clean, healthy, and last for years to come.