One of the greatest advantages of dental implants is their potential to last for decades to come. With other tooth replacement options like bridges and dentures, you have to get them replaced every 5-10 years. Implants, on the other hand, save you time and money in the long run by lasting significantly longer. Of course, in order to ensure your new smile lasts a lifetime, you have to take proper care of your dental implants in Plainview. Keep reading below to learn more about the ideal dental implant aftercare.
Just because your implants are impervious to tooth decay doesn’t mean oral hygiene isn’t still important. Your gums that house the implant could become infected by a form of gum disease called peri-implantitis, which could compromise your implant. Failing to clear away plaque around the implant site could contribute to this infection.
To avoid this problem, brush your implant restoration twice daily and floss at least once a day. Use a nonabrasive toothpaste (it helps to avoid whitening ones, as they won’t work on your restoration anyway) and a toothbrush with soft bristles. If you’re having trouble flossing around your restoration, you may need to use a water flosser or an interdental brush to clean out the area. Also, if you’re not already rinsing with mouthwash, add that to your routine. It can help kill germs in parts of your mouth that your toothbrush and floss can’t reach.
If you play football or some other contact sport, you run the risk of suffering injuries to your mouth that could damage your implant to the point that it needs to be removed. To drastically reduce this risk of this occurring, you should wear a mouthguard during such physical activity. While you can purchase cheap mouthguards at the drugstore or sporting goods store, you’ll gain more protection by asking for a custom-made one from our office.
Clenching or grinding your teeth can also negatively impact your implants. You can often control these habits during the day, but many patients involuntarily grind their teeth while sleeping, a condition known as bruxism. Wearing a personalized nightguard can provide a cushion between your top and bottom teeth while you sleep, protecting your implant and remaining teeth from damage.
Lastly, be cognizant of how you’re using your teeth in your daily life. Try your best to avoid harmful oral habits like chewing on ice, biting your fingernails, or using your teeth to open packaging.
Of course, no oral healthcare routine would be complete without regular checkups and cleanings with us here at Meadowbrook Dentistry! In addition to the preventive services you would normally receive at these appointments, we’ll make sure your implants are in proper working order. We’ll check for issues like bone loss or looseness; the earlier we detect these problems, the easier they are to treat. It’s highly recommended that you attend one of these visits twice a year, or every six months. If it has been a while since your last checkup, contact us to schedule one with a dentist in Plainview today!