Find out the best ways to care for your new dental implant.
Are you preparing for dental implant surgery? This is a remarkable procedure that can transform your appearance, increase your comfort, and improve your quality of life.
Before the big day, your dentist will walk you through a recommended aftercare routine to help you recover as quickly and successfully as possible. This includes explaining how to care for dental implants the right way. There are many things you can do (and avoid) at home to encourage your body to heal.
Today, we’re sharing our top 7 dental implant care tips to help you learn more about what to expect!
1. Brush gently.
Of course, we never recommend brushing your teeth too hard or too fast. Applying too much pressure can damage your enamel and increase tooth sensitivity.
However, it’s especially important to be gentle when you’re taking care of dental implants. Allow the surgical area to heal for one week and keep that area clean with your prescribed oral rinse.
Then, you can use a soft nylon toothbrush to carefully clean around your implant. It’s important to keep this area clear of food and debris, but it can become irritated if agitated. Brush the inside, outside, and top surface of your implant once it is no longer sensitive.
2. Floss regularly.
Flossing is an important part of dental implant care after surgery. Once you return home, you can brush and floss any of your teeth that were not impacted by the implant.
After the one-week mark has passed and the initial sensitivity has subsided, you can begin flossing your full mouth again. Again, take this step slowly. Your dentist will demonstrate how to clean dental implants, including the proper flossing technique to use.
3. Eat soft and semi-soft foods.
To be effective, dental implant care and maintenance must include more than keeping your teeth clean. You’ll also need to consider your diet as well.
Your dentist can provide specific information on which foods to choose and which to avoid. The following are great choices, with soft textures that will not irritate or harm your new implant:
- Soft fruit
- Mashed or boiled potatoes
- Cool soup
All of these foods require little to no chewing. They are also rich in nutrients and can provide you with a balanced diet during your recovery period. You can avoid many dental implant problems by sticking to this soft diet until your dentist gives you the green light to introduce a greater variety.
4. Schedule regular dental visits.
While you’re at home following your dental implant home care instructions, don’t forget that we’re only a phone call away. In addition to answering any questions you might have, our team can also help you stay on top of your routine, preventive dental visits.
While it might be tempting to forego these appointments, it’s important to stay on track. Falling behind on your regular checkups can cause other underlying issues to go untreated.
These cleanings can help keep your dental implant in great shape and allow you to connect with your dentist on a regular, recurring basis. Make a list of any questions you have about implant care for dental hygienists and bring them with you!
5. Avoid abrasive products.
Over-the-counter tooth whitening products will not be a part of your dentist’s dental implant care instructions. Products like these can be abrasive to your enamel and can increase tooth sensitivity.
The same goes for any type of toothpaste that is specially formulated to help remove stubborn stains, such as those designed for smokers. The abrasive materials in these products are usually derived from chalk or silica, both of which can wear down your enamel.
Over time, prolonged use of these products can lead to a range of dental issues, including periodontitis. Overbrushing or using harsh toothpaste can lead to gum recession, which exposes your tooth root. Not only does this lead to heightened sensitivity, but it can also cause your gums to become red, irritated, and swollen.
6. Avoid sticky or hard foods.
What can you not do after dental implants? To start, there are certain foods you’ll want to avoid out of the gate. These include any types of sticky or hard foods that could damage your implant, such as:
- Raw vegetables
- Toffee or caramel
- Hard candies
At the same time, it’s also best to avoid any foods that are highly acidic, spicy, or sugary during your recovery period. You can also increase your risk of developing a dry socket by using a straw, so drink from a cup instead.
It might go without saying, but another part of tooth implant care is avoiding smoking and alcohol. During this critical healing period, your body needs to rebuild blood cells, blood vessels, and gum tissue. These substances can impede this process and delay your recovery.
7. Don’t neglect your dental implant.
How long does it take for dental implants to heal? The answer depends on how seriously you take your at-home dental implant care.
It’s true that an implant can restore your smile and improve your dental function. However, it isn’t impervious to disease or decay. Remember, it’s designed to look and function just like a normal tooth.
Once that area is no longer sensitive, there is no reason to avoid it while brushing or flossing your teeth. Before long, you’ll be treating it like it was always there!
Ace your at-home dental implant care.
Dental implant surgery can be life-changing. To make sure yours goes smoothly and delivers the results you expect, it’s important to follow the dental implant care tips outlined above.
These 7 steps can make all the difference in your road to recovery. Along the way, our team at Bentz Dental is here to answer your questions and ease your mind. Feel free to contact our office if you have any concerns or want to learn more about our dental services.