How Do I Care For My Dental Implants? - Clear Lake Dental

How Do I Care For My Dental Implants?

A: Just like you would your other teeth—brushing and flossing around them. We always recommend to our patients that they get a combination of an electric toothbrush and a water flosser to help keep the gums nice and healthy around those areas.

Have you been shopping for dental implants in Webster but are worried about their longevity and how to care for them? If so, you are just as normal as any patient making the same decision.

For one, there are so many choices when it comes to getting dental implants in Webster and the surrounding area. You can easily find a dozen dentists in Webster alone with a quick Google search.

The good news is, that you have nothing to worry about—dental implants should easily last you the rest of your life—with proper care.

But how do you care for dental implants? Aren’t they synthetic, so they shouldn’t decay right? So, what’s the big deal?

Well, the truth is, dental implants don’t decay—but your gums are not impervious to bacteria. Although the implants can’t decay, food gets stuck in the crevices just like natural teeth. If not removed and properly cleaned, that food turns into harmful bacteria that can cause gingivitis.

Now, no matter where you get dental implants in Webster, they will fail if you do not engage in proper oral hygiene. However, the way you care for implants is not unlike the way you care for your natural teeth.

Caring For Dental Implants In Webster

Dental implants are the perfect solution to missing teeth, whether it’s one tooth or a whole arch. Unlike dentures, implants restore the cosmetics of your smile and the complete functionality. Also, whereas dentures require vastly different maintenance than natural teeth—dentures do not. You just care for them as you would your natural teeth.

So, if you’re worried about investing in dental implants because you’re worried about keeping up with them—don’t.

You’ll have a brand new smile, perfectly designed to fit your bone structure that will boost your self-esteem and get you living again!

However, if you want that feeling and those dental implants to last, you’ve got to take good care of them. It’s as simple as taking care of natural teeth—you just follow these simple oral hygiene tips.

Use a Soft Nylon Brush

After getting dental implants in Webster, the only change in dental care might come in the form of choosing a different toothbrush. Soft nylon toothbrushes are flexible and gentle on dental implants. There’s also an optional brush designed for dental implants called a Proxabrush, that helps get around hard-to-reach places.

However, most patients seem to do just fine with a regular toothbrush as they’ve always used. Our recommendation for implants and natural teeth alike is an electric toothbrush. Both Oral-B and Sonicare make great electric toothbrushes that make brushing a breeze. Just avoid hard bristles just as you should with natural teeth as well.

Make sure you are brushing twice a day and always pair it with a good flossing, which we’ll talk about in a moment.

Avoid Abrasive Products

Whether it’s natural teeth or dental implants you’re cleaning, always avoid harsh toothpaste or mouthwash. This includes kinds of toothpaste with things like charcoal mixed in. Just because there’s a dental care fad out there that’s popular, doesn’t make it right.

Charcoal is abrasive to the enamel on your teeth, and the coating on dental implants that replaces tooth enamel. Products with abrasives like this can ruin your teeth or your dental implants which could cost you thousands in damage.

In general, we recommend something like Sensodyne or Closys toothpaste with no intense flavors such as cinnamon or mint.

Floss Daily

Even though we as dentists harp on patients every visit to floss daily, barely over 15% of adults actually do. That means most adults aren’t flossing enough—and that can mean bad news for your oral health. Even worse if you invest in dental implants only to have them undone because you didn’t do something as easy as flossing.

If you know this is you and you struggle with flossing—change this bad habit now—before you invest in dental implants.

With dental implants, flossing is that much more important because plaque can easily build up around the implants. That buildup can lead to more serious oral hygiene problems including implant failure.

The great thing is, that there are now devices called water flossers. While they’ve been around for a long time, early models were cumbersome. Now, with cordless wand models from brands like Waterpik, it’s incredibly easy to use.

A water flosser is similar to the tool used in our offices during deep cleanings. It’s easier to get all the particles between the teeth. Using a very fine stream of pressurized water, it gently knocks food out of those crevices making for more effective cleaning.

When you pair brushing with flossing, you ensure that your getting a thorough cleaning twice a day. There’s no better way to maintain healthy gums and teeth.

Avoid Hard Or Sticky Foods

Eating hard/sticky foods may cause damage to your dental implants in some cases. Not so much the implant itself as much as the restorative crown. However, this is also true with natural teeth as really hard foods have been known to cause a chipped tooth. Additionally, really sticky foods such as caramels, and hard candies can leave residue on teeth. That residue, because it’s mainly sugar, grows bacteria really fast. If you haven’t been reading—it’s the bad kind of bacteria, the kind that causes gum disease that can result in implant failure.

Some foods you should stay away from after implants include:

  • Ice (chewing it)
  • Caramel
  • Dried fruit
  • Hard candy
  • Hardshell tacos
  • Kettle Chips
  • Corn Nuts

By avoiding these foods you will ensure your implants last a lifetime so long as you follow the other tips listed here.

Avoid Nicotine and Alcohol

Nicotine use damages your health in so many ways, but when dealing with implants it has immediate effects. Nicotine interferes with your natural healing capabilities. Implants on average can take from 6 months, up to a year to fully heal.

Nicotine use, especially smoking, not only can prolong that but it can block the healing altogether, causing implant failure.

However, nicotine isn’t the only vice that hinders healing after dental implants—alcohol does too. The consumption of alcohol has been shown to slow the healing process. This is amplified even more with excessive drinking.

Avoiding both nicotine and alcohol not only gives your implants the best chance of healing but it improves your overall health too.

Keep Seeing Your Dentist Regularly

Dental implants make a huge difference in your smile and the appearance of your teeth. However, they do not cure dental hygiene problems.

Depending on your oral health level, you should continue to see your dentist at least twice annually. Keeping these appointments helps us catch developing problems in the early stages before they become a major dental crisis.

With proper care and routine dental visits, your dental implants can easily last a lifetime.

Considering Dental Implants In Webster?

If you’ve been considering dental implants to correct your smile issues and improve your quality of life—schedule your FREE consultation with us. We’d love to show you just how easy it is to change your life with a brand new smile.

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