Dental implants replace the entire root structure of your missing teeth. Once the implant has bonded with your bone tissues, they’re aesthetically and functionally indistinguishable from your natural teeth. As such, caring for dental implants is no different from caring for natural teeth. You brush, floss, and go for regular dental cleanings to ensure optimal oral health. With proper care, dental implants last a lifetime. Below, we provide some tips on caring for and maintaining dental implants.
1. Use a Soft Nylon Toothbrush
You might need to switch your toothbrush after getting dental implants. If your toothbrush has hard bristles, they might scratch and eventually damage the surface of the implants, especially if they gradually rise to the surface due to gum recession. Instead, use a nylon toothbrush with soft bristles to clean your teeth. In terms of frequency, stick to brushing twice a day
2. Use Sensitive Cleaning Products
Abrasive dental products, such as a harsh toothpaste or mouthwash, may cause some discomfort. Some of the abrasive products, especially those made of mint or cinnamon, also wear down your dental products over extended periods. As such, you should opt for a sensitive antibacterial mouthwash, toothpaste, and other cleaning products.
3. Floss Everyday
You should floss everyday regardless of whether you have dental implants or other dental products. The simple act of flossing allows you to remove all the plaque and food particles stuck between your teeth, lowering the risk of dental decay and bacterial accumulation.
Flossing is even more important if you have titanium implants because they have a greater affinity to plaque and bacteria than natural teeth, making them more prone to infections. Ceramic implants have a lower affinity to bacteria, but you must floss everyday regardless.
4. Don’t Eat Sticky & Hard Foods
You should avoid sticky and hard foods even without dental implants and products. They stick to the contours of your teeth, increase plaque and tartar accumulation, and lead to bacterial decay. Extremely hard foods can also chip or fracture your teeth. However, the need to avoid sticky and hard foods is greater for dental products.
Dental implants remain under your gum tissues, so they’re relatively safe from sticky and hard foods. However, such foods can damage the prosthetic part of your implant, i.e., the he visible crown, bridge, or denture. They also increase your risk of bacterial infections, which, in turn, can affect the implants and necessitate treatment.
You should generally avoid the following foods: Ice, hard candies, popcorn kernels, potato chips, steak, etc. This tip is especially important for the first 6 months after getting your implants because that’s when your bone tissues are healing around the implant. You can relax your diet after that period, but you should still limit the frequency to ensure optimal oral health.
5. Regular Dental Visits
You must visit your dentist at least twice a year — once every six months. This general rule-of-thumb applies to most people, even those with nearly perfect oral health. However, this guideline is more important for
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