When you have dental implants, it is your second chance at a beautiful, healthy smile. However, just because you have prosthetic teeth, doesn’t mean that you don’t have to take care of your implants as well as the rest of your mouth. Fortunately, taking care of your dental implants and overall oral hygiene is like taking care of your natural teeth.
Basics of Dental Implant Care
The daily basics of dental implant care are to brush at least twice a day and to floss at least once. When you have dental implants, it is recommended to use a less abrasive toothpaste and a narrow-headed soft-bristled brush. The nonabrasive toothpaste is safer to use on your implants while still providing the thorough cleaning and stimulation to your gums necessary to good oral hygiene and health. A more narrow-headed toothbrush is better able to reach the crevices around your implants, cleaning between your implants and your gums.
When you floss it is best to use unwaxed floss. You could also use a water flosser to carefully clean between your teeth. Water flossers also act as an antimicrobial which will help to prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria. Don’t underestimate the importance of flossing. While your implants will not decay, you can still develop gingivitis and gum disease by not taking care of your oral health.
Yes, You Still Need to See the Dentist
Maintenance visits for professional cleanings are the MOST IMPORTANT Part of caring for your implants. The problems that caused the loss of your natural teeth (decay, gum disease or bite problems) can cause the failure of our implants as well. Regular dental appointments are essential to protecting and maintaining your overall dental health. These appointments allow Dr. Linger to monitor the health of your gums and jaw. He will also check the integrity of your implants, ensuring that they are firmly in place and undamaged. This is why your implant warranty is only good if you keep your routine maintenance visits.
Taking Care of Dental Implants Is Important
As mentioned above, the reason you have to take care of your implants is that basic dental hygiene habits like brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups don’t just take care of your teeth. They also are critical to keeping your gums and jaw healthy. Gingivitis and gum disease are the leading causes of tooth loss. Even if your natural teeth have been removed, if your gums become inflamed and infected and pull away from your jaw, you are putting yourself at risk of your jaw degrading and your implants becoming loose. The titanium post of your implant provides stimulation to your jaw bone, which should help to keep it healthy, but you need to do your part as well.
If your jaw is unable to support teeth or implants, you may need to rely on dentures or even get used to not having teeth at all. This can have detrimental effects on your overall health because of the adverse effects of the dietary changes you will need to make.
If you have dental implants or think that dental implants might be the best option to replace your teeth, make an appointment with Dr. Linger today. He has many years of experience in providing patients with implants and other specialty dental services.