How to Care for Dental Implants

by | Apr 13, 2015

Keeping up with dental hygiene is a daily chore. Brushing, flossing, and going to the dentist regularly is extremely important; you can’t simply start brushing and flossing properly two weeks before your dentist appointment. Contrary to what you may hope, your dentist knows! For those who get dental implants, oral hygiene (both before and after the dental procedure) is equally important. In the previous article we explained what dental implants are. In this article, we will explain how to care for dental implants. Once you get a dental implant, the tissue surrounding it should seem pink and firm with no sign of infection. Keratinized tissue is also important, and should surround the implant. It helps maintain functionality and aesthetic appeal. Moreover, it helps people retain good oral hygiene. The absence of such tissue often makes one more susceptible to bacteria and peri-implant disease, which includes inflammatory lesions and loss of bone. Therefore, the success of a dental implant depends on proper oral hygiene and how one maintains a healthy keratin seal. On the day of the implant, you should not disturb the wound. This means that you should avoid touching it, spitting, and gargling, as each of these provoke bleeding and makes it more difficult for your implant to heal. Some bleeding on the day of the procedure is normal; however, in order to slow or stop the bleeding, you can drink ice-cold liquids. Be gentle and avoid heavy pressure on the implant. Swelling should also be expected after the procedure, but should start to go down after two days. If you apply an ice pack to the side of your cheek you can help bring the swelling down. Warm salt-water rinses up to five times a day (particularly after you eat) is also recommended. Your dental care should start immediately. Be gentle as you brush your teeth and avoid oral irrigation devices and water picks until your dentist says otherwise. Try not to swish your toothpaste around in your mouth or spit to harshly. Moreover, ensure that the toothpaste you use is low abrasive so that you do not scratch the implant. Abrasive ingredients include baking soda and stain removers. After you are fully healed, you may want to use an electric toothbrush, a water flosser, or an oral irrigation system. Water flossers and oral irrigators help reduce plaque and inflammation. They can also help you get to those hard to reach places. Additionally, you want to consider using a mouthwash. For those with dry mouth, you should only use an alcohol free mouthwash. Remember, proper oral care is important whether you have had a dental implant or not. However, you need to be extra careful after dental surgery. Therefore, make sure to listen to your dentist!