Updated: Jan 19
When it comes to replacing broken, decayed, or missing teeth, dental implants offer a more reliable alternative to removable dentures and bridges. Unlike these oral applications, implants are designed to fix permanently into the gums and jawbone, which means that they can effectively mimic the functionality of real teeth. A high-quality root implant can help to prevent a range of dental issues including: bone loss due to lack of stimulation, structural instability caused by gaps between teeth, gum disease, and accelerated facial sagging.
But in order to gain these benefits, you have to work to preserve your dental implants in much the same way as your natural teeth. A proper routine of care will ensure that implants remain in good condition well past their traditional 10-15-year lifespan. Here are some key tips that will help you along the way.
Cleaning Your Teeth
While dental implants don’t decay in the same way as normal enamel, they are still affected by plaque and bacteria. Poor oral hygiene can lead to infections in the surrounding regions of the implant, and it can severely shorten their shelf life as well.
During the initial days following your surgery you should take special care not to disturb the implanted tooth. Make sure to brush your other teeth but avoid the surgical area for at least 2-3 days. At this point the implant should be cleaned with a special postoperative toothbrush with ultra-fine hairs. After brushing make sure to rinse your mouth out with warm saltwater, you can continue to rinse at any point when you feel irritation around the implant. Try to keep food and sugary liquids away from the implant, smoking is also discouraged during this time.
Once your mouth has fully healed you can begin to eat and drink as normal. The implant should be brushed twice daily along with the rest of your teeth, a soft-bristled electric of manual toothbrush should be used for this. It is extremely important to brush in, under, and around the circumference of the implant. As far as toothpastes, we recommend a non-abrasive product with medium to low sodium fluoride. A particularly aggressive brand could remove the oxide layer from the implant which would cause them to corrode and scratch more quickly.
Of course, flossing is an equally important aspect of oral hygiene. For implants we suggest using an unwaxed or implant-specific floss that will not damage the surrounding tissue of the implant. If you experience inflammation around the operated area, then an antimicrobial mouth rinse can help to deactivate bacteria. Oral irrigators or water flossers can also help to reduce plaque and inflammation in and around the implant. Use a non-metal tipped (soft rubber is preferred) irrigator at least once or twice daily on the affected region.
Regular Dental Visits
Apart from daily oral hygiene, you are also advised to visit your dentist at every 3-6 months for a more comprehensive dental assessment and cleaning. At i2mdental, we can help to protect the durability and health of your implants through diagnostic testing and proactive care that works to ensure any minor issues are dealt with quickly and promptly.