Dental implants offer a great way to restore your smile, but keeping them looking great and working for you means taking proper care of them. Knowing how to care for your implants can extend their life and keep your pearly whites in beautiful shape. Here are a few things you need to know about caring for your dental implants.
Cleaning your implants is essentially the same as cleaning your natural teeth. Using a toothbrush and toothpaste in the morning, before bed and after meals will keep plaque off of your implants and away from the gum line. Flossing is essential to keep plaque and residue away from the gums where it might come into contact with the implant abutments.
Your dentist will want to perform regular checkups to assess the progress of your implants as the bone grows around the screws and abutments. Your dentist may want to see you frequently in the months immediately after the implant procedure to monitor the implants and to check for any signs of implant failure, which may require additional treatment. Your dentist may perform X-rays at your visits to check on the progress of the implants below the jawline to get a better view of your overall dental health.
In addition to other health risks, smoking can have a negative impact on your dental implants. It can lead to implant failure and peri-implantitis. Smoking can prevent osseointegration, which is the process that allows bone to grow around the implant screws keeping your new teeth in place. Your dentist can help recommend different smoking cessation methods to help keep your implants healthy.
Unlike dentures, dental implants give you the ability to enjoy all the foods you love. It is important to remember, however, that foods can stain your implants in the same way they can stain natural teeth. You may want to limit your intake of coffee and other foods that stain teeth, and be sure to brush thoroughly to maintain the color of your implants. Should your implants become stained, your dentist may be able to recommend additional procedures to restore your smile.
Your dentist will give you instructions on how to care for your implants during the days and weeks after your implant procedure. To maintain their long-term success, use these tips and work with your dentist (like those at Oral Surgery Center). You'll be able to extend the life of your implants and keep your new smile looking great.