Dental implants are a popular option for replacing missing teeth. The screw-like implants are attached to the jawbone, acting as artificial roots to support functional, natural-looking replacement teeth. Unlike removable dental restorations such as dentures, caring for dental implants is not all that different from taking care of your natural teeth. Here are a few tips to keep your implants in good condition.
5 Basics of Dental Implant Maintenance
1. Floss Daily
Floss around your dental implants at least once a day, being careful not to push too hard on the gums. Excessive pressure can break the seal that attaches the implant to the gums, leaving your gum pocket and jawbone vulnerable to bacterial infection. Ask your dentist whether traditional floss or dental tape will work best for your implants.
2. Avoid Sticky or Hard Food
With dental implants, patients can eat without pain, discomfort, or embarrassment. However, certain foods, such as raw vegetables, popcorn, nuts, and sticky candies, can be dangerous for implants. You should also refrain from chewing on nonfood items, such as pencils or your fingernails.
3. Brush Twice Daily
Brush twice a day to keep your dental implants clean and free of plaque. With a soft-bristled manual or electric toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste, gently brush your implants from all angles. Use a circular motion for the sides and back-and-forth strokes on the chewing surfaces.
4. Limit Smoking & Drinking
Excessive alcohol use can impede the body’s ability to absorb calcium, causing bones to deteriorate. In addition, several studies have shown that smoking decreases bone density. Since dental implants are embedded in the jawbone, weakened bone structure puts the implants at risk of failure.
5. Visit Your Dentist
After having dental implants installed, you should continue to make regular appointments with your dentist every six months. If your implant becomes loose or you experience symptoms such as swollen gums or difficulty chewing, schedule an appointment right away. These problems may indicate that your dental implants are failing.
Judy Walker, DDS, in Greensboro, NC, has over 25 years of general dentistry experience. Whether you need dental implants, teeth whitening, or family dentistry services, you can count on Dr. Walker and her compassionate team. Call (336) 202-2556 today to schedule an appointment, or visit the practice online to learn more about their services.