Dental implants are a long-term solution to tooth loss. They are built to last, and will not expire or wear down. With the proper care and maintenance, implants can stand the test of time.
Dr. Ronald Trevisani has helped thousands of Orlando dental implants patients enjoy a more attractive smile and restored chewing function. He believes in starting his patients off with the best chances for implant success during the planning and placement process — but long-term care and maintenance by the patient is also critical.
In this post, Dr. Trevisani explains how patients can keep dental implants in excellent condition for long-term success.
Brush and Floss Normally
Though artificial teeth cannot develop cavities, they must be cleaned daily to prevent bacteria from infecting the small spaces between the implant and the gums and bone. If not, the gums holding the implant can become inflamed or develop periodontal disease, and the jawbone can slowly deteriorate. Both of these problems could affect the integrity and longevity of implants.
Unlike traditional dentures, which must be removed every night and cleaned with special products, implants can be brushed and flossed like normal teeth. When you brush, angle your toothbrush at a slight tilt where the gums meet the implant. Move the toothbrush in a back-and-forth or circular motion along the gums, targeting the entire area around the implant. The bristles of your toothbrush should get up underneath the gums and around the base of the implant, removing any plaque or debris attached to the implant.
After you are done brushing your teeth, it’s time to floss. Thread the floss in between the implant and adjacent tooth, and curve the floss around the implant in a “C-motion” so it hugs the sides of the implant. Then, pull the floss down to scrap the sides of the implant, loosening excess bacteria or debris attached to the implant and along the gum line. Try to use a shoe-shine motion when flossing. Repeat on the other side of the implant. Continue until you have flossed all of the teeth (don’t forget the hard-to-reach back molars). A floss threader can be helpful to those with dexterity problems.
See Your Dentist Regularly
Another critical piece of implant maintenance is to see a dental professional regularly for exams and cleaning. They will check to make sure the implants are in great shape and the surrounding teeth are healthy. Dentists and oral surgeons can spots signs of a budding problem early, while they are still easily treated. And, they can answer any questions you may have about your implants or at-home oral hygiene routine.
Implants are not indestructible. With enough force or trauma, they can be loosened or knocked out altogether. Use the same precautions you would with normal teeth:
- Avoid chewing or biting down on hard foods or ice.
- If you normally clench your teeth at night, seek treatment.
- Protect your teeth with a mouth guard while playing contact sports.
- Follow healthy lifestyle habits. Don’t smoke or use drugs, and control chronic health conditions like diabetes.
For more tips on caring for dental implants and ensuring their long-term success, please contact Dr. Ronald Trevisani today.