Why It’s Important to Care for Your Implants
Tooth loss has the ability to change your appearance, impact your self-esteem, and result in various consequences if left untreated. That’s why taking care of your smile is important for your health and happiness.
Dr. Amanda Sheehan uses dental implants as a natural-looking restoration option to replace a number of missing or damaged teeth. Once you seek treatment for your damaged smile, we’ll explain how crucial it is to properly care for your restorations.
Follow this dental implant aftercare guide for your new smile to ensure there are no issues during your healing period and that they have the ability to last a lifetime.
The Initial Recovery Period
Within the first couple days of your dental implant procedure, it’s best to take precaution with any activity involving your mouth. The healing process typically takes about 14 days, but the first 48 hours are critical.
To help speed up recovery and prevent possible issues, Dr. Sheehan recommends the following tips:
1. Stick to a soft food diet.
Eating foods like soft fruits, yogurt, applesauce, smoothies, clear liquids, and more will help heal the area around your new restoration. Avoiding hard foods within the first few days will eliminate any risk of injury to your gums or new dental implant while eating.
2. Rinse your mouth with salt water.
After you eat, when you wake up, and before you go to bed are all great times to rinse out your mouth with salt water. This helps reduce inflammation and washes away any unwanted food or bacteria around the implant.
3. Apply ice around the area.
Generally, receiving any type of surgery may cause a little bit of discomfort. Within the first few days post-implant surgery, if you’re experiencing swelling or pain, simply apply ice with a towel over it to the area. You may also take a pain relieving medication to gradually diminish any discomfort.
4. Avoid smoking tobacco or drinking.
These are typically not the best things to consume in your body while healing from a surgery, so it’s best to avoid both tobacco and alcohol to prevent any reduction in blood flow.
Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene
Keeping up with proper oral care is crucial in ensuring your dental implants last a lifetime with minimal complications. This means following Dr. Sheehan’s suggestions and maintaining a good oral hygiene routine by:
- Brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day.
- Rising with an antibacterial mouthwash to keep your gums healthy, strengthen your tooth enamel, and eliminate any unwanted germs.
If you follow these easy steps, your dental implants can last for years to come. However, if you skip them, you may suffer from gum disease, bone deterioration, or further tooth loss.
The Best Products for Dental Implant Care
The first step to maintaining your oral health is caring for your dental implants. This goes hand-in-hand with choosing the right dental products to prevent damage and promote healthy healing.
Dr. Sheehan recommends different dental products for each patient, depending on their case and how many dental implants they receive. To know which products best suit your oral needs, you can ask her at your appointment or give our office a call at (248) 742-5566 to speak with a friendly member of our staff.
Here are some general tips to consider when looking for new hygiene products:
- Soft-bristled toothbrush to keep your dental crowns from getting scratched and prevent gum irritation.
- Non-abrasive toothpaste so your dental implants won’t get damaged and to avoid harming soft tissue.
- Nylon floss, or one made specifically for implants to remove bacteria between your teeth.
- Alcohol-free mouthwash so that your mouth doesn’t become dried out, which can interfere with your healing process.
Visit Oakland Family Dental for Quality Dental Care
Once you’ve completed your dental implant procedure, you’ll need to visit our Waterford dental office biannually for your regular dental checkups. If there are any issues along the way, post-operation, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (248) 674-0384 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sheehan. We’ll get to the root of the problem and treat it as soon as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do dental implants usually last?
Your implants won’t last long if you don’t take proper care of your gums and surrounding teeth. When the tissue around an implant gets infected, this can lead to peri-implantitis and cause the implant to fail.
If you follow our post-operative guide, dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care and attention. This includes brushing your teeth thoroughly twice a day and flossing once a day to clear bacteria and crumbs from your mouth. Rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash is a good way to complete your oral care routine and keep your smile healthy.
Why should I take care of my gums?
Having healthy gums is vital to the success of your dental implants. Although your new implants can’t decay, your gums are still susceptible to infection if bacteria are allowed to flourish. Infection can be caused by the same bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease and can affect the tissues around the implant. This condition, called peri-implantitis, can lead to bone loss and implant failure.
The good news is that following a routine of proper oral care can prevent peri-implantitis and ensure that your dental implants, as well as the rest of your mouth, remain healthy.