Installing dental implants is a great way to improve both the functional and aesthetic sides of your teeth and boost your confidence. People with beautiful smiles are generally more prone to become successful in their career and personal life. However, to maintain the perfect smile and to take full advantage of dental implants, you should practice proper dental implant care.
Continue reading to learn the five essential dental implant care tips.
1. Use softer toothbrush After installing dental implants, you may need to change your toothbrush. It's better to avoid toothbrushes with hard bristles, as they can damage the surface of your dental implants. Toothbrushes made from nylon material are more gentle on your artificial teeth and the surrounding gums. You can also try using an interdental cleaning tool to reach difficult-to-access areas between your teeth. Make sure to avoid any tools made from metal to brush your teeth after getting dental implants.
2. Floss daily Nearly 85% of Americans neglect to floss every day. If you’re a part of this statistic, you should change your dental hygiene now that you have dental implants. Specific foods can get stuck between your artificial teeth and attract dangerous bacteria, leading to infection and potential peri-implantitis. The bacteria can also lead to the onset of periodontal disease. Accumulated food residue and bacteria can also infect your jawbone, which can cause implant failure. That’s why it’s vital to floss if you have dental implants.
3. Avoid Abrasive Products Make sure to look for sensitive oral care products once you have your dental implants installed. This is because a toothpaste or a mouthwash that contains abrasive materials can damage your implants and cause severe discomfort. It's also important to avoid strong-flavored oral care products like mint or cinnamon mouthwashes, as these can irritate your gums leading to soreness and discomfort.
4. Limit sticky and hard foods consumption Once fully healed and integrated with your jawbone, dental implants can function just like your real teeth, allowing you to enjoy all of your favorite foods. However, it’s necessary to limit your consumption of some foods for the first few weeks after the surgery. Foods you should avoid to prevent damage to your dental implants include:
Hard foods like steak and raw veggies
Crunchy foods like crackers and chips
Sticky foods like gum and caramel
Chewy foods like raisins and peanut butter
Spicy foods like chili peppers and salsa
Acidic foods like citrus fruits and tomatoes
Hot dishes and beverages like tea and soup
For the first 24 hours after the installation of dental implants, it’s better to stick to a soft-food diet. Try to eat more foods like smoothies, applesauce, and cold soups. A few weeks after the surgery, you can start gradually adding some solid foods into your diet. Some of these foods include dairy products, softer meats, eggs, and potatoes.
5. Avoid alcohol and smoking While avoiding smoking and drinking alcohol is great for your overall health, it can also help prevent damage to your dental implants. After dental implant surgery, your body requires proper blood flow to heal. The nicotine contained in cigarettes and other tobacco products can narrow your blood vessels, resulting in reduced blood flow to your jaw. Smoking also decreases the production of saliva in your mouth, leading to dryness and putting you at increased risk of infection.
Alcohol can also be detrimental to your dental implant surgery success. Excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to restricted blood flow and associated negative consequences. Alcohol can also make your blood too thin, which can lead to uncontrollable post-surgery bleeding. Remember that dental implants require about 6 months to fully heal, so drinking alcohol and smoking can be especially harmful during this period.