How to take care of your dental implants?
Dental implants are now a very popular treatment choice for adults to replace missing teeth. It is also common to use implants to help stabilise a denture for comfort and functionality. For individuals who have lost one or more teeth, these implants are a healthy option as they integrate with the jaw bone and support the replaced teeth. Dental implants also look and feel just like your natural teeth.
Dental implants can last several decades if they are correctly maintained with proper oral hygiene at home and regular maintenance with your dental health care provider. The following are some of the tips that can help your dental implants and replacement teeth last:
Tip 1: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
The best thing about implants is that you can take care of them, much like the rest of your teeth. Soft bristles are less likely to damage the gums or cause bleeding and are as effective in removing tartar and plaque as medium or hard bristles. Take the time to brush slowly and softly – stop brushing too hard. You should spend two minutes at least, brushing all your teeth and implants.
Tip 2: Avoid abrasive dental products
Use toothpaste that is non-abrasive to the exposed parts of the implant and contains antimicrobial ingredients. Using low abrasive toothpaste will not harm the implant.
Tip 3: Don’t forget to floss
With dental implants, flossing is more necessary than ever before. This is because plaque can quickly form around the implants, which can lead to further oral hygiene problems. There are many varieties of flosses out there made specifically for dental implants. They have two rigid nylon ends and a soft core that gently cleanses the dental implant surface and the porcelain that touches the teeth. The rigid ends help you insert the floss between the dental implants in the gum line and pull it through to the other side.
Tip 4: Try using a water flosser
Sometimes referred to as an oral or dental water irrigator, a water flosser can disrupt and destroy bacteria up to 6 mm deep. It is an excellent mechanical add-on to your home care so that teeth / crowns / implants can get a “shower” when properly used, reducing the total bacterial population in the crevices that your floss and brush cannot reach.
Tip 5: Use occlusal protective guards
Occlusal protective guards or night guards are recommended if you grind or clench your teeth. These will decrease the forces on your implants if you unknowingly grind or clench your teeth at night.
Tip 6: Make healthy lifestyle choices
The longevity of your implants will also depend on your lifestyle choices as a whole. Smoking is one of the key factors that can cause complications with your dental implants (and overall oral hygiene). This will be taken into account by your dentist when determining your eligibility for implants at your initial appointment.
Tip 7: Schedule regular visits to your dentist
Commit to regular dental check-ups and oral hygiene appointments. This will help your dentist track the progress of your implants and also help prevent any infection around the implants.
Implants are a very popular and successful medical technique to replace missing teeth. However, an infection can jeopardise the bone tissue around the implant, which can cause the implant to fail. Prevention of peri-implant disease is important for the health and function of implants. These tips will help you prolong the life of your implants.
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Dr. Paresh Lotlekar is a leading dental practitioner specialising in Periodontology & Oral implantology and the founder of STUDIO32 (studio32india.com), a chain of super speciality dental clinics in Goa.