Dental implants are possibly the best and most popular way to replace missing or damaged teeth. They provide a fixed solution compared to removable partial or complete dentures. They also give amazing support and stability. Finally, dental implants look very natural, enhancing or restoring a patient’s self-confidence and smile. Even though dental implants cannot get cavities, it is important to take care of them. In this article, I will explain just how to do that.
Even though dental implants can’t get cavities, bacteria can still collect around the gums, leading to a number of oral health problems. The most clear sign that something is wrong with your dental implants is bleeding. Mucositis, or the bleeding that occurs in the gums around the implants, can, if treatment is delayed, lead to bone loss. When bone-loss occurs, this is known as implant gingivitis, or peri-implant mucositis. Bone loss is irreversible. It is, therefore, very important to take care of your dental implants.
The most obvious way that you should take care of your dental implants, is by brushing them, as you would your other teeth. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles, or even an electric toothbrush. Do not brush very aggressively. It’s oral healthcare, not a war! Brush with care, slowly and gently. On average, you should brush your teeth for about two minutes per session.
You want to use non-abrasive toothpaste. Abrasive toothpastes can damage your tooth enamel, leading to sensitivity and cavities. They may even un cover the yellow dentin beneath the enamel, giving your teeth a discoloured look. Non-abrasive toothpastes are strong enough to clean your teeth and dental implants but gentle enough not to cause them damage.
It’s really important to floss, even if you do not have dental implants. Start off by breaking off 18 inches or so of floss and wrap most of it round a middle finger. Wrap the remaining floss on the opposite index finger on your other hand. This is the finger that will get most of the floss as it gets dirty. Firmly hold the floss between your thumbs and forefingers. Gently slide the floss in-between your teeth, taking care not to touch the gums. Near the gums, bend the floss into a C-shape against one of your teeth. Then, slide it gently through the space between your gums and the tooth. Finally, you want to hold the floss firmly tight against one of your teeth. Now, gently rubs that tooth’s side, going up and down with the floss, and away from the gums. Repeat across all your teeth and take care to floss the back of your last tooth.
You should also consider using an antimicrobial mouth rinse. A mouth rinse basically washes away bits and pieces of food and bacteria have lodged themselves around your implants and the rest of your teeth.
Another great way to take care of your dental implants is to use water piks. Water piks “irrigate” your teeth, spraying water on them to remove food particles and bacteria between them.
Finally, you should also consider using disclosing tablets. Disclosing tablets are chewable tablets that make dental plaque visible, making it that much easier to clean your teeth.
Your dental implant dentist can demonstrate how to use these and other techniques for taking care of your dental implants, so that they last long and continue to look healthy and natural.