With dental implants, an effective home care regimen only requires you to brush at least twice a day, floss daily, and to use an oral irrigator that will get rid of the extra material in the hard-to-reach places that your toothbrush missed. This is especially important after any meals or snacks because plaque accumulation happens quickly (and bacteria loves a mouth that isn’t completely healed).
By committing to dental implants, you’re also committing to the daily performance of your regimen that will allow you to save a large amount of money in the long run by helping you avoid some problems that could have been fixed with better attention. Some of the earliest signs we’ve seen of insufficient home care is bleeding (mucositis), and then bone loss (peri-implantitis) if the issue continues to become severe, which will result in the eventual removal of the implants.
Buy the Correct Aids
With the wide variety of toothcare aids out there on the market, it seems as if people have endless options to take care of their implants, but many products can actually do more harm than good. Ultimately, what we have found in many of our patients is that they had to throw out most of the products they were using daily because they just weren’t made to properly maintain their new teeth.
Stain-removing toothpastes and others that contain baking soda, sodium fluoride, and stannous fluoride are terrible for implants as they all are considered corrosive because their ingredients break down implants and cause them to become weaker and not as polished over time. The alcohol in mouthwash is also just as harmful as the stain removers as it prevents the mouth from being able to fight against germs and infections itself by causing dry mouth.
Using a soft-bristled toothbrush – manual or electric – will also still give the effective cleaning needed. Anything harder can cause scratches on the implants, which in turn means that bacteria has a better chance of entering the tooth, down into your gums and into the bloodstream. If you ever are unsure about a certain product, always ask your dentist first.
Eat the Right Foods
Eating can still be enjoyable, even with new dental implants but the choices you make can affect how long the teeth last and the amount of damage that happens within the rest of the mouth. We see patients come in daily to our office because they had no idea why their new implant cracked or why they are getting sudden tooth pains. The first question we always ask is, “What have you been eating?”
From there, we usually get the same answers: candy, chips, steak, vegetables. The major issue with these is that once they start damaging the implants, a person’s overall oral health is at risk. Remember: all of these can be enjoyed in moderation but for the dental implants to last a lifetime, you’ll have to make the choice to avoid the foods that are even harmful to real teeth.