Dental implants require preventative maintenance, just like normal teeth. With the time and money that you invested into them, the last thing you want to do is neglect to take care of your new, healthy teeth. Otherwise, you could find yourself back in the operating chair in just a few short years.
Dental implants function like normal teeth in that bits and pieces of food can get stuck in and around them. While your implants may be impervious to the various factors that cause tooth decay, your gums and jawbone are not. Your gums and jawbone make up the support system that allows your implant to sit firmly in your mouth. If this support system fails, the implant will need to be removed from your mouth.
Proper Preventative Care of Your Dental Implants
Ideally, you should brush and floss your teeth twice a day. This will help keep them clean and plaque-free. It’s especially important that you clean after every meal, as food can get stuck and wind up causing problems. As you brush, be sure to give special attention to all sides of the dental implant.
Your Tacoma oral surgeon may suggest a certain type of toothbrush to use. Normally a soft, small manual toothbrush is recommended, but you can also use an electronic one. For toothpaste, you’re going to want to buy a low-abrasive, tartar-control brand. Dental floss should also be used when cleaning your teeth.
Antimicrobial mouth rinses will also help keep your implants clean and gums healthy. There are also disclosing tablets you can buy which will stain the locations of plaque accumulation on your teeth. This way you can give special attention to the affected areas.
What Happens if I Don’t Take Care of My Implants?
The conditions in your mouth could degrade to the point that the implants will simply fall out when you’re eating food. This is the worst-case scenario. More often than not, people who don’t brush their teeth and floss will experience bleeding in their mouths. This is called mucositis. There is scientific evidence that if it’s caught early enough, it can be reversed.
However, most people who have mucositis don’t realize they are bleeding. The blood coming out is very little in volume and it could be masked by the food you eat or drink so that you can’t taste it. This is why you should schedule checkups and cleanings as recommended by your dentist.
If the condition goes beyond mucositis, then it turns into something called peri-implantitis, which is more commonly referred to as bone-loss. At this point in time, the bone loss is not reversible. If left unchecked, it will then progress into advanced bone loss and removal of the implant is the only option.
Dental implants are a long-term investment. It’s important to take care of them as you would any other investment, and they have the potential to last a lifetime.
Schedule Regular Dental Checkups
After regular daily maintenance, be sure to schedule bi-annual dental appointments with your family dentist. A good professional cleaning will also keep your new implants working and looking as good as the day you got them. Your dentist will not only deep clean your teeth, he or she will be able to properly inspect the health of your dental implants. They can refer you a visit to Oral & Facial Surgery Center of Puyallup for maintenance if needed.
For more information on how to take care of your new dental implants, give us a call at (253) 445-0022 or send us an email. Oral & Facial Surgery Center of Puyallup is conveniently located 20 minutes from Tacoma.
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