Dental implants are the best way to regain your healthy smile after tooth removal because they look and function like natural teeth. However, you should care for your implants like your natural teeth (or even better).
Your dentist will give you post-surgery dental implant maintenance tips and some oral hygiene practices to help you care for your implants. You should adhere to the instructions to promote oral health and hygiene and increase your implants' lifespan.
Here are some dental implant care tips you can use.
Clean Your Implants With a Soft Toothbrush and Non-abrasive Toothpaste, and Floss Every Day
Dental implants function like your natural teeth, and you should give them the same level of care as your natural teeth. Cleaning your implants with the best toothpaste and toothbrush is the best way to keep them in their best shape. However, don't go in too hard with the cleaning routine to reduce the chances of scratching the implants.
Your dentist will recommend using a soft nylon toothbrush to clean your implants at least twice daily. Regular cleaning will help remove hidden debris under the implants and reduce your risk of getting peri-implantitis.
Check your toothpaste's fluoride and chemical components to ensure it's not harsh on your implants. While the implants are strong, you can wear off their appeal and durability with high fluoride-content toothpaste. Ask your dentist for pointers on the best implant-friendly toothpaste.
Plaque can form under your dental implants, leaving you susceptible to gum disease, bad breath, and other dental problems. Unfortunately, you cannot rely on brushing your teeth alone to remove the plaque. Flossing will help you remove the food particles stuck below your implants where a toothbrush can't reach and protect you from gum disease.
Avoid Alcohol, Hard and Sticky Food, and Tobacco
Alcohol and tobacco affect dental implants the same as natural teeth. Alcohol has a high sugar content and can cause plaque buildup on your implants. Furthermore, alcohol can derail your recovery after dental implant surgery. The dentist will advise that you stay off alcohol for at least 15 days after the surgery to help you heal fast. However, it's prudent to limit your alcohol intake even after a full recovery to maintain your oral health.
Tobacco smoke also hurts your after-surgery healing process because it weakens your gums. It causes inflammation around the implant and can stain your new implants. Besides, smoking makes you susceptible to gum disease, cancer, and other health issues.
While your implants function like natural teeth and can chew most foods, you should avoid sticky or hard foods. Sticky foods can be hard to clean and stick around your implants. The foods can cause gum disease and stain your implants. On the other hand, hard foods can damage your implant's structure and can even break or chip them.
To learn more about dental implants and implant care, contact a dentist in your area.