When you extract one of your teeth, most likely because it was in such poor condition that it was impossible to repair and save it, most people chose dental implants to replace it. Implants are the closest thing we can have instead of natural and healthy teeth. They not only replace a missing tooth (both root and crown) but can also play a huge role in preserving the surrounding teeth and maintain jawbone support. Just like with natural teeth, you also need to regularly clean dental implants in order to reap the maximum benefits. Here are a few tips on how to do it.
Clean dental implants with soft-bristled toothbrush
We highly recommend using soft-bristled toothbrushes to clean dental implants. The area around them might feel sensitive and tender for some time, and hard or medium bristled toothbrushes could damage your gums and cause bleeding. If you don’t use manual but electric toothbrushes, you don’t need to switch. Electrical toothbrushes don’t require so much pressure in order to do their job effectively. This of course doesn’t mean that electric toothbrushes are a better option to clean dental implants. Both manual and electric have their advantages and disadvantages and you can learn more about them here.
Flossing after brushing is always a good thing, regardless whether you have dental implants on not. You can still keep using your regular dental floss and even add water flosser to your routine. They are quite efficient in killing bacteria up to 6 mm deep so it’s a great tool if you want clean dental implants and good oral hygiene.
Brushing twice a day is essential for clean dental implants
Brushing your teeth regularly (at least twice a day) is very important if you want to keep your mouth free from plaque and harmful bacteria that reside in it. Especially if you have dental implants. If you have the opportunity, during the day, to brush your teeth and remove residual food bits (after a meal or snack) even better.
Crown and Bridge Flosses – Use them!
If you have dental crowns or bridges, there are specially designed tools that will help you clean them and keep both your teeth and gums bacteria-free. The same tools can be used to clean your dental implants as well.
Aside from these tips on how to clean dental implants, there are also certain things you need to do before your dental implant procedure, as well as immediately after.
- You need to make sure that your dentist is well-informed about all medication that you’re taking.
- Taking antibiotics before the procedure can help reduce the risk of developing infections. Consult with your dentists if you should take them before the procedure and which ones.
- Trips to the dentists (even if it’s just a routine cleaning) can be stressful for some people. If you feel anxious or nervous, inform your dentists. He/she might consider giving you a minor sedative so you could relax.
- Once you have your new implants, it will take you a couple of days to recover. Swelling, bruising and sensitivity in the area is common for 1-2 days so don’t be alarmed.
- If you were sedated for the procedure, make sure that you have someone pick you up and drive you home. Do not attempt to drive!
- You will need to keep biting a sponge in order to control the bleeding after the procedure (it will apply pressure and the bleeding should gradually stop). In cases of severe bleeding, you might need to keep biting the sponge for a few hours.
- Try and keep still for the first 8-12 hours. You could sit or lie down with your head elevated and just relax. You can even take a nap (we highly recommend it) just make sure that you lie down with your head elevated and not on your side.
- Swelling is normal after dental implant procedure. Apply ice packs several times a day for 15 minutes
- Avoid eating solid food for the first two days. Make sure you eat soft food and don’t drink anything too hot or too cold.
- If your dentist has prescribed medication, make sure you take it
- Don’t rinse in the first 24 hours after the procedure. After that, you can rinse but gently.
Caring for dental implants after surgery is an ongoing thing. But it’s very similar (if not the same) as it is with your natural teeth so regular brushing, flossing, mouthwash etc. should be sufficient to maintain clean dental implants.
If you have additional questions about implants, make sure to contact us. Our experienced dentists will be happy to answer your questions.