Dental implants provide an excellent alternative to conventional dentures. However, patients sometimes make the mistake of thinking that because prosthetic teeth themselves don’t suffer from tooth decay like their natural counterparts, it’s safe to dial back on oral hygiene practices. It’s important for those who have implants installed to understand that best oral hygiene practices play a significant role in determining how long implants will last and even their overall success rate. Here’s what you need to know about taking care of your implants:
Use a Non-Abrasive Toothpaste
Because materials used to manufacture prosthetic teeth aren’t quite as hard as natural tooth enamel, so you’ll want to use a non-abrasive toothpaste that’s formulated for use on prosthetic teeth to keep them from getting scratched. You can also purchase unwaxed dental floss for use on implants. Your dentist may also recommend that you use an oral irrigation system.
Use a Soft-Bristled Brush
Using a soft-bristled brush serves the same purpose as brushing with a low-abrasive toothpaste — it will help keep your prosthetic teeth from becoming unnecessarily scratched. To thoroughly clean hard-to-reach places, use a nylon-coated interdental brush.
Use an Antibacterial Rinse After Brushing and Flossing
Plaque buildup is the number one culprit when it comes to causing gum disease, and it occurs just as easily on prosthetic teeth as it does on natural ones, which is why it’s essential to continue practicing impeccable oral hygiene. The leading cause of gum disease is bacterial buildup in the mouth, so keep this to a minimum by using an antibacterial mouthwash after you finish brushing and flossing.
Avoid Hard Foods
Biting down on hard foods can damage prosthetic teeth, so avoid eating items such as hard candies and nuts. You should also avoid chewing on pencils and other items. These are often nervous habits that people engage in without even thinking about, so you may need to make a conscious effort not to do this.
See Your Dentist Every Six Months
Preventive dentistry is an essential component of making sure your implants last as long as possible — and with the proper care, implants can easily last the rest of your natural life.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at your convenience to schedule an appointment or for more information on keeping your smile healthy and beautiful.