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How Do I Care for and Maintain a Dental Implant?

Dental implants have the potential to last a lifetime when properly cared for. They are a great solution for replacing missing teeth, offering both functionality and aesthetics. However, just like natural teeth, they require proper care and maintenance to ensure their longevity.

The durability of a dental implant can be influenced by various factors including oral hygiene, lifestyle choices, and regular dental check-ups. In this guide, we’ll go through some essential tips on how to care for your dental implants effectively.

Post-Surgery Care

After your dental implant surgery, be sure to follow all the aftercare instructions provided by your dentist. This may include taking prescribed medications and following gentle oral hygiene practices to facilitate quicker healing. The following post-surgical recommendations are often prescribed immediately following a dental implant procedure:

  • Soft Diet
    You might be told to stick to soft foods for the first few days. This can help to avoid pain, bacteria and stress around the implant area as it heals.
  • No Smoking or Alcohol
    These can interfere with the healing process. Smoking constricts blood vessels, reducing the ability to heal; especially within the mouth. Cigarettes and vapes can also introduce bacteria into the mouth, which may increase your chance of infection.
  • Avoid Physical Strain
    Refrain from heavy exercise for a few days post-surgery. Physical strain can raise blood pressure, which can impact the healing process. There is also an increased risk of injury during certain activities, which could dislodge or irritate your implant.
  • Certain Medications
    Antibiotics may be prescribed by your dentist to prevent infection, and you may also be advised to take over-the-counter pain relief if necessary. Anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce swelling if this is required, though it’s always best to check with your doctor or dentist first.
  • Cold Compress
    This can be applied to the affected area to reduce swelling.

Sticking to your dentist’s recommendations can help ensure a smoother recovery, as well as more successful long-term results for your dental implant.

Use a Softer Brush

While it might be tempting to use a hard-bristled brush to give your teeth a thorough clean, it’s actually better to opt for a soft nylon brush on a long-term basis when you have a dental implant. A softer brush will clean your implant more effectively without scratching the implant surface. Pair this with a non-abrasive toothpaste to keep your implant in top condition for longer. With dental implants, it’s recommended you keep up with a strict dental hygiene routine – brushing at least twice daily.

Floss Every Day

Flossing should be an integral part of your oral hygiene routine, especially when you have a dental implant. It helps to remove plaque and small pieces of food that can get trapped in places your toothbrush can’t reach. Special floss designed for dental implants is available, which may be easier to use and more effective at cleaning around the implant. Implant floss is specially designed for use around dental implants, as it’s extra thick for more effective cleaning. After you have your dental implant procedure done, you can start to floss as soon as the area is no longer sensitive.

Avoid Sticky and Hard Foods

While dental implants are robust and durable, they are not entirely indestructible. Eating hard or sticky foods can damage your implant over time. It’s advisable to stay away from these types of foods, especially within the first 24 hours after the implant procedure. Alcohol and cigarettes can also adversely affect the way your implant heals, and should be avoided – particularly within the first few days after your procedure.

Regular Dental Checkups

Last but certainly not least, regular dental checkups are vital for maintaining your dental implant. Your dentist will be able to assess the condition of your implant, clean around it professionally, and provide any advice on additional care you may need.

Follow your dentist’s advice on how often you should come in for checkups. These appointments are not just about your implant; they’re also an opportunity for a professional to assess your overall oral health and to spot any potential issues before they become serious problems.

Rinse with Antiseptic Mouthwash

Rinsing your mouth on a regular basis can help reduce bacteria around your implant. Any build-up of bacteria around the gums can lead to gingivitis, or even tooth decay. Although your dental implant may not be a natural material, your gums are – and they are vital for holding your implants in place.

Watch for Signs of Infection

Be vigilant for signs like redness, severe discomfort, or persistent bad breath, which could indicate an infection or another issue with your implant. Seek medical advice from a trusted professional if you observe any of these symptoms.

Try a Mouth Guard

If you grind your teeth at night, you may have bruxism. Also known as ‘teeth grinding’, bruxism actually affects up to 10% of the population – so it’s not uncommon. However, the repetitive friction and forces involved can place unnecessary stress on your teeth and any dental work you may have. Wearing a night guard can protect both your natural teeth and your dental implant from unnecessary wear and tear. Your dentist will likely be able to help identify if you would benefit from wearing one.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Dental implants are designed to be a long-lasting solution for tooth loss, but their longevity depends largely on how well you take care of them. If meticulously cared for, they can last a lifetime. Implementing these simple yet effective practices into your daily oral care routine can go a long way in ensuring your implant serves you well for years to come.

Quality Dental Implants with Ringway Dental

If you are interested in finding out more about our dental implant treatment plans, schedule an appointment with us at Ringway Dental. An initial consultation can help you decide whether this is the best course of treatment for you, as our diligent dental experts will examine your teeth and provide their own professional opinion.

Our welcoming team is dedicated to helping you achieve and maintain the healthy smile you deserve, all within a luxurious clinical setting that has been carefully designed to provide the utmost comfort. Call us today on 0161 437 2029 to book your visit!

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Visit us

  • 187 Finney Lane
  • Heald Green
  • Cheadle
  • Greater
  • Manchester
  • SK8 3PX

Visit us

  • 187 Finney Lane
  • |
  • Heald Green
  • |
  • Cheadle
  • |
  • Greater Manchester
  • |
  • SK8 3PX
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