How to Care For Dental Implants
Dental implants are an excellent way to improve and brighten your smile and help you regain confidence or self-esteem. But it is important to make sure that your dental implants are properly cared for or else you might find their condition deteriorate and their appearance falter. Keeping proper care of your implants can help them last a lifetime.
There is a lot to know about dental implants, but proper care is among the most important. So what are the proper steps to take in order to best maintain and care for your dental implants? Our guide will help make sure that your implants are cared for properly.
Brush as you would normally
Brushing your teeth twice per day as you would your natural teeth is crucial to maintaining the health of your dental implants. Although implants contain a natural stain resistant layer, neglecting them and lack of proper care can cause them to become stained or discolored over time. Additionally, although the implant is artificial, the surrounding gum tissue is not and it is important to brush to make sure that your gums remain healthy. You can still get gum disease even if you have a dental implant.
When you brush, it is best to use a soft nylon toothbrush to avoid scratching your implants. Hard bristles can scratch the surface of your implants causing them to wear down faster. It is also best to try to avoid abrasive toothpastes or mouthwash as these may also impact the condition of your dental implants. Many toothpastes use abrasives in order to help in removing surface stains that may appear but for implants depending on how abrasive the toothpaste is and the material of the implant may cause scratching.
Limit hard and sticky foods
It is almost impossible to completely avoid hard and sticky foods, but limiting how much we consume can help to keep dental implants lasting longer. Chewing on ice or hard candy, or consuming taffy or caramel are all things that can be damaging long term to both your natural teeth as well as your dental implants and are best to be limited. If you do consume any hard or sticky foods it is best to ensure that you brush properly to remove any remaining food residue and floss as well to make sure that food particles that may have gotten stuck between your implants can get cleaned as well.
Use mouthwash and floss
Do not forget to use mouthwash and floss after brushing your teeth. It is completely safe to use mouthwash and floss your new dental implants and doing so will help extend their longevity up to a lifetime depending on how frequently you take proper care of your implants. You should be flossing and rinsing with mouthwash at least once per day in order to properly care for your teeth and implants.
Avoid tobacco and alcohol
Tobacco use, particularly smoking, is one of the leading causes of gum disease in the United States and can lead to teeth falling out over time. Smoking also causes teeth to become stained into a more unsightly color that may impact self-esteem. The same effects can be seen on dental implants. Both tobacco and alcohol can also slow down the healing process after dental implants are placed leading to a longer and more uncomfortable recovery. It takes approximately 6 months until the mouth is fully healed after receiving dental implants so it is best to limit the amount of alcohol and tobacco used while the mouth is healing and recovering.
The most important way to ensure that your dental implants last as long as possible is to schedule and go to regular dental checkup visits at least twice per year. During your bi-annual visits your dentist is able to look at your implants and see if there are any problems that may occur to take care of them preemptively and ensure that you don’t have much larger problems later on. If you are a candidate for dental implants your dentist may want to schedule follow up appointments in advance
Can you whiten dental implants?
It is absolutely possible to get teeth whitening if you have dental implants, however your dental implants will not receive the benefit of the teeth whitening since they are not porous the way that natural teeth are. Teeth staining occurs when the darker pigments from food and drinks such as soda or black tea get through the porous outer layer of the teeth and reach the dentin in a process known as extrinsic staining. When you get your teeth whitened the whitening material reaches the dentin to create a brighter appearance. Dental implants are made of harder material so if your implants begin to darken or turn yellow there is unfortunately no solution to whiten them again. Be sure to talk to your dentist about possible materials to find the best one that meets your needs and budget.
Schedule your next visit to Dental365 to learn more about dental implant options by calling an office near you at one of our convenient locations or contact us online to set up a consultation.