Dental implants are the number one solution for restoring missing teeth for many reasons. They have a high success rate, they improve the abilities of chewing and eating, and they look and feel just like natural teeth. Plus they are affordable! However, even though they are esthetically indistinguishable from natural teeth, dental implants do require special care. The goal is simple, you want your dental implants to last a lifetime! In this article, we want to cover some basic dental implant health tips that will help you find success with dental implants.
Why You Should Be Taking Care of Your Dental Implants
Dental implants themselves cannot develop cavities or decay, but that doesnít guarantee lifetime success alone. Here is why.
Inflammation and implantitis, a periodontal infection, can affect the soft and hard gum tissues that are supporting the dental implant. If left untreated, your dental implants become victims to the same bacteria that gnaws away at natural teeth. In turn, these bacteria develop into a hard deposit called calculus. Calculus destroys the gum and bone support surrounding the dental implant that keep it securely in place. The one hurting effect of calculus, once itís there no amount of brushing or flossing can get rid of it, the only way being at the hands of a dental hygienist. The constant envoy of bacteria attacking dental implants may not leave a mark on the implant itself, but will eat away at what keeps the implant in place and risks implant failure.
Make Sure to Keep them Clean
The first step to preventing dental implant failure is an easy one. Practice good oral hygiene! That includes brushing twice a day, once when you wake up and once right before bedtime. Brushing your teeth for two minutes, fifteen brush strokes per tooth, is the most efficient way to remove plaque development. Now brushing only cleans about 60% of your teeth, the front and backside. In order to clean the sides of your teeth, you have to use floss and mouthwash. Not many like to floss because they donít appreciate bleeding gums, but that just means they are not flossing right. When flossing, you want to avoid downward pressure and instead apply pressure to the surface of each tooth. This will prevent bleeding gums and inflammation around dental implants and natural teeth. Mouthwash is the last part of your routine that helps rinse out any remaining bacteria and gunk stuck in between teeth.
Get a Professional Cleaning
Going to the dentist is your next step. Itís recommended to schedule an appointment at least once every 6 months, depending on the status of your oral health. This step will help prevent diseases from developing around dental implants, and will help keep your mouth healthy. Your dentist will be able to remove any plaque and calculus that has grown in your mouth. What you shouldnít do is buy metal picks that mimic the same instruments dentist use to clean your mouth. When used improperly, these instruments can scratch the surface of dental implants, creating a space for bacteria to develop and cause further problems that will lead to implant failure. Allow your dentist to do their part, and you can do yours with some basic oral hygiene.
Be Careful of What You Eat
As we have stated above, dental implants cannot develop cavities. That is because they are made of porcelain and titanium, unlike natural teeth which is primarily dentin safeguarded by a layer of enamel. However, that doesnít justify endless sugary drink consumption or sweet indulgence. Sugar is a big factor that can control the quality and long-term durability of your dental implants. Too much sugar gives ground to bacteria to develop inside your mouth, allowing it to multiply exponentially and risks developing into gum disease and implantitis, even with proper oral hygiene.
Use Your Teeth Only for What They Are Meant For
Not many of us can deny using our teeth to open a bag of chips, or holding onto a bag of groceries while fishing in your pocket for your door keys. All of that causes pressure on your teeth, resulting in loose teeth. This can cause teeth to angulate or even fall out. The same can go with dental implants. Use your teeth for what they are meant for, which is chewing up food. Youíve lost your tooth once, thereís no reason to lose it again for little reason.