Dental implant procedures and materials have undergone many improvements over the years, making them stronger, more comfortable, and more natural looking than ever before. Because of these advances, more people than ever before are able to use them to enjoy better dental health and a more attractive smile. But like other types of cosmetic dentistry, dental implants do require some special care to help them last longer and continue to look their best for years. If you have recently had a dental implant procedure or are planning to do so in the near future, the following implant care tips can help you protect the investment your have made in better dental health.
Choose the right toothbrush for twice daily brushing
Dental implant recipients are often surprised by how much their implants look and feel like natural teeth and for the most part, their care is also similar. One key difference is to always use a soft-bristled toothbrush; medium or firm bristles may be more likely to scratch implant surfaces.
When choosing a toothpaste, most standard brands with fluoride are fine for using during the morning and evening brushing routine. Finishing with a good, anti-bacterial mouthwash is a good practice to reduce bacteria in the mouth and help prevent odors.
Flossing is a must in the care of implants
Even if you have not previously been a regular flosser, it is important that you begin doing so regularly when you are caring for dental implants. Flossing with a good quality flossing material is the best way for implant wearers to remove hidden particles of food and pockets of bacteria that may be missed during the brushing regimen.
The reason this is even more important with dental implants than with natural teeth is that dental implant wearers may not be able to feel the telltale pressure of something lodged between their teeth, as they were previously able to do with their natural teeth. Without thoroughly flossing each day, these hidden particles can damage the surface of the implant, as well as create more risk of dental cavities and gum infections elsewhere in your mouth.
Regular dental visits are the best way to extend the life of dental implants
Dental patients who trade cracked, broken, or damaged teeth for strong, healthy dental implants may think they will no longer need regular dental care. But, this is simply not true. Seeing your dental care provider, someone like David Russell DDS, Inc, regularly after receiving dental implants will allow your dentist to inspect them carefully for any signs of damage or discomfort so that these issues can be addressed more easily.
For more information about dental implants, including how to care for them, dental patients should discuss their concerns with their dentist and and dental care team.