Obtaining a permanent smile with dental implants can be quite exciting. Knowing that your teeth are firmly in place and unlikely to require replacement for decades or maybe even a lifetime is something you can certainly smile about. But once they are secured and ready for use, you must commit to taking proper care of them. Here are some of the most common do’s and don’ts of maintaining your dental implants if you want them to last as long as possible.
What You Should Do to Properly Care for Dental Implants
Immediately following the placement of your dental implant posts, you’ll be expected to get plenty of rest and allow your mouth to fully heal.
During this time between surgery and receiving your finalized restoration, you’ll want to make sure that you take any prescribed medications to help alleviate discomfort. Also, it’s advised that you rinse your mouth with warm saltwater but do not swish or gargle. Instead, gently move it around in your mouth and allow it to pour out instead of spitting.
Once your restoration is in place, you can begin to use your implants like regular teeth, but you’ll want to make sure that you:
- Practice optimal oral hygiene by brushing twice daily and flossing after every meal. You’ll also want to rinse to remove any remaining debris and bacteria.
- Wear a mouthguard to protect your dental implants from serious injury.
- Eat healthy, nutritious foods to avoid decay caused by those that consist of sugars and starches.
- Regularly visit your dentist every six months to have your teeth and gums checked and cleaned.
- Give up smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and other bad habits (i.e., eating ice).
What You Should Not Do When Wearing Dental Implants
It might seem as if regular oral hygiene and visits to the dentist are no longer necessary since most or all of your teeth are artificial but that is simply not true. In fact, staying on top of your oral health is essential while wearing dental implants.
To ensure that they last a lifetime, you’ll want to avoid:
- Skipping out on dental visits during recovery and after your restoration is in place. These allow your dentist to check on the status of your artificial teeth to ensure that they are not damaged or experiencing any signs of failure.
- Neglecting your oral health and hygiene by forgetting to brush, floss, and rinse.
- Strenuous activity immediately following your surgery, as this can slow the healing process and cause additional swelling and bleeding.
- Smoking or other bad habits that can weaken your immune system and put your dental implants at risk of failing.
- Eating normal foods immediately after your procedure, as you need to ingest soft foods so that your mouth can properly heal.
Dental implants are an investment in your oral and overall health. Make sure that you’re doing everything you can to keep your new smile firmly in place for years to come.
About the Author
Dr. Joanne Bancroft enjoys helping patients smile. When someone visits her office to inquire about dental implants, she is eager to explain their many benefits. She’s also thorough in her explanation of what is required when choosing to move forward with this type of restorative service. If you or a loved one are considering dental implants to replace your missing teeth, contact us at (720) 458-6561.