Dental implants are strong and durable and can last for years. Despite their sturdiness, however, they still need caring for just like natural teeth. It's important that you maintain proper oral hygiene levels before and after an implant surgery for optimal results and faster healing. In the first 72 hours after surgery, your dentist will discuss the required special care because the gum area will be slightly swollen. After this period, follow these tips for long-term care:
Brush and Floss Regularly
After your mouth is fully healed, get back to brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing regularly. You may want to consider an interdental toothbrush designed for dental implant patients. Floss your teeth using an unwaxed floss or water jet. Flossing helps remove plaque and food bits that could cause periodontal diseases.
Do Not Smoke or Drink Excess Alcohol
Smoking is the greatest cause of implant failure, and you should quit. Smoking reduces blood supply to the gums and weakens the jaw bone, and as a result, the implant won't be fully integrated due to receded gums. Along the same lines, an occasional alcoholic beverage is welcomed, but too much can be detrimental. Too much alcohol has been associated with a slow healing process and high tooth sensitivity.
Regular Dental Checkups
With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime. Schedule regular checkups with your dentist at least twice a year to ensure implant success and for general oral health. Implant specialists check the gums and bones for any disorders to ensure a smooth healing process. Regular checkups also enable your dentist to catch unexpected problems early.
Avoid Damaging Foods and Drinks
In the first few days after surgery, you should avoid a majority of foods and drinks and opt only for soft meals for a quick recovery. After healing, however, implants allow you to enjoy most any food like you normally would. However hard, sugary, and extremely hot/cold beverages and foods shouldstill be avoided. Hard foods can compromise the dental implant's structure, while sugar causes plaque build-up.
Taking care of real teeth is an important part of your life, and it shouldn't be any different for implants. Dental implants are considered a permanent fixture and should, therefore, be cared for just like natural teeth so they can last as long as possible. Failure to maintain good oral hygiene will lead to gum disease and possible implant failure.