How To Maintain Dental Implants Once They've Been Fitted
As items that represent a significant investment in your oral health and appearance, tooth implants require appropriate care to ensure their longevity. The good news is that once dental implants are installed, the maintenance routine you'll need to undertake isn't too different from the care of natural teeth. Despite the familiarity you might have with implant care, there are some specific considerations to keep in mind. Read on to find out more.
Brush and Floss
Perhaps the most important aspect of tooth implant care is regular brushing and flossing. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, being sure to clean around and beneath the implant crown. Consider using an electric toothbrush for its greater efficiency and thoroughness, especially if you are prone to decay. Floss daily as well. There are varieties of dental floss on the market that can clean around each tooth implant and reach into areas that a toothbrush cannot.
Tooth Care Product Selection
Use non-abrasive toothpaste to avoid scratching the surface of the implant. This is essential because abrasions can provide an environment where bacteria will thrive. Similarly, mouthwashes containing alcohol can cause your mouth to dry out. This may lead to unwanted bacterial growth in some cases as well. Therefore, opt for alcohol-free mouthwash instead.
Regular dental check-ups are vital with tooth implants. Dentists can spot potential issues with them before they become significant problems. Typically, you should have a dental check-up every six months, but your dentist may recommend more frequent visits depending on the condition of your implants and natural teeth, so heed their advice. After all, implants can be susceptible to peri-implantitis, a condition similar to periodontal disease in natural teeth, where inflammation occurs around the implant. Your dentists should be able to detect this condition early, but if you notice any swelling or redness around the implant, then it's advisable to consult your dentist immediately.
Diet and Smoking Advice
Although it has long been established that smoking is detrimental to oral health in general, it is particularly harmful to tooth implants. Smoking can lead to bone loss in the jaw, which can cause implants to fail. Simply put, smokers should quit for the overall health of their mouths. Equally, maintaining a healthy diet is also beneficial for your oral health. A diet that is high in sugar, for example, can lead to increased plaque buildup, something that is potentially harmful to natural teeth and implants alike. Opt for a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and dairy products to provide the necessary nutrients for good oral health.
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