The Ultimate Guide To Caring For Your Dental Implants
The first thing most people notice about someone else is their smile.
Or, their lack of a smile.
There are an infinite amount of things that could keep someone from smiling, but one thing that would cause most people to turn their frown upside down is the loss of a tooth.
It's hard for a lot of people to flash their pearly whites if one of their pearly whites has gone missing.
Luckily, if you're missing a tooth, you have options.
One of the most popular options is dental implants.
Dental implants are a great option if you're missing a tooth, but getting a dental implant isn't as easy as popping in a retainer.
Getting dental implants requires surgery, and all surgery requires aftercare. And then your dental implants will require care and routine maintenance to make sure they function correctly.
Keeping your dental implants clean is also very important to ensure your implants have a long and healthy lifespan.
In the article below, we'll go over some maintenance tips and the best things to do to keep your dental implants clean and healthy.
- How To Clean Your Dental Implants At Home
- Dental Implant Care And Maintenance
- Dental Implant Care In The First Weeks After Surgery
- Dental Implants Will Bring Your Smile Back
Cleaning your dental implants is very similar to cleaning your natural teeth.
Brush, floss, and you can even use a non-alcoholic mouthwash on a daily basis.
But, because dental implants are artificial teeth, there are certain things you should keep in mind.
Food particles and bacteria can easily get stuck in the areas around your implant.
This could lead to the formation of plaque, and, if that's left untreated, can lead to an infection or gum disease.
In order to keep your implants clean and healthy, there are several dental implant cleaning instruments you should consider using.
You can use your normal toothbrush to brush your dental implants, but patients are still curious about what toothbrush is best.
There's really no difference between an electronic or manual toothbrush as long as you're using them properly.
There are some studies out in favor of an electric toothbrush, but as long as you brush properly, a manual toothbrush is fine.
The things you should keep in mind when deciding on a toothbrush are how the brush feels on your implant and the ease of use.
Whatever you choose, though, needs to have soft bristles.
You should floss every day even without a dental implant, but it's that much more important when you do have an implant.
There are plenty of flosses to choose from, but dentists generally recommend using unwaxed tape of floss designed with implants in mind, ensuring that your surrounding tissue is protected.
Water flossers, or oral irrigators, can help with reducing plaque and inflammation. Find a water flosser that has a nonmetal tip and use it once or twice a day, supplementing with non-alcoholic mouthwash.
You should get your implants cleaned periodically by a professional.
They can thoroughly clean the threads of the implant, the surrounding tissue, as well as your natural teeth.
This will keep the bacteria that can lead to an infection at bay.
Plus, it will allow your dentist to inspect the overall condition and alignment of the implant.
This is more than your average dental cleaning, as your dental hygienist will likely incorporate scaling, a method that cleans much deeper than the surface of your tooth, removing the buildup of plaque.
In the days immediately following your implants, you'll be visiting your dentist frequently.
During the several-mont process, you will see your dentist several times.
Once the initial period is over, you just need to treat your implant like the rest of your teeth. So, you should visit your dentist every six months.
Knowing how to maintain and clean your dental implants properly is crucial to the success of your implant.
If you don't care for them properly, there are many complications you could experience.
If your dental implants aren't cleaned properly, they can start bleeding. This is known as mucositis.
If you catch it early, it's reversible, but if it progresses too much, it could lead to infection, or in worst case scenarios, bone loss.
That, of course, isn't reversible and could require the removal of your implant or even a bone graft.
The first two days after your surgery are very important. This is when your symptoms will be most pronounced.
In the first hour after your surgery, you'll need to keep firm but gentle pressure on the gauze packs with your teeth, making sure to keep them in place.
You won't want to change out the gauze until after the first hour unless you have heavy, persistent bleeding.
If you do have heavy bleeding, change the gauze after 30 minutes, and then again 30 minutes after that.
After that first hour, you'll need to change the gauze every 30 to 45 minutes.
Common symptoms you'll notice on the first day are:
- Persistent bleeding
To make sure your recovery goes as it should, and to avoid complications, be sure not to disturb the surgical areas.
The first night after the surgery, you will want to brush your teeth gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
After the first day, rinse your mouth with salt water 2-3 times a day to keep your mouth clean.
And rest as much as possible, and apply ice as needed.
On days two and three, continue caring for your entire mouth.
You might notice some discoloration or bruising around the surgical areas, but this is normal, and it should only last two or three days.
After the first three days, you can gently apply heat to the bruised area to decrease the bruising and discoloration.
In some cases, patients notice a sharp protrusion in their mouth.
If you notice this, feel free to contact your dentist to make sure there aren't any underlying problems.
Other things you might notice are dry lips, a sore throat, and stiff jaw muscles, but these are all expected side effects of using gauze.
In the weeks following your procedure, you should continue to care for your teeth using the tools mentioned above as well as visiting your dentist.
Brushing, flossing, and using a salt water rinse should become second nature to you as your implants heal.
Another thing you might consider is altering your diet.
Eating less acidic foods, softer foods, and nutrient-rich foods and drinks will help your mouth heal.
The one thing that can't be emphasized enough is to make it to all of your post-op appointments with your dentist.
It's essential to the health of your dental implant, and it allows your dentist to clean and inspect your teeth.
After the initial healing process, you should continue to see your dentist at least every six months for regular check-ups.
Losing a tooth can be hard, but getting it replaced doesn't have to be.
A dental implant will replace your missing tooth, and no one will be the wiser.
And, after your initial healing process is over, you care for your implant much like you would your natural teeth.
If you're ready to get your smile back, contact the dentists at Hylan Dental Care.
They have years of expertise and experience when it comes to dental implants, and they will get you take care of right away.
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