Implant Maintenance: How to Clean Dental Implants
In order to fully enjoy the long-term benefits of dental implants, it is important to practice proper oral hygiene and preventative care. If you have recently received implants or are preparing for implant surgery at our Idaho Falls, ID, practice, you may be wondering how to clean dental implants.
Dr. Mark Tall will educate you on their proper care to ensure their longevity and the retention of your oral health. He will also provide tips to prevent breakage and other physical damage to your restoration. By following the instructions you receive at Sandcreek Dental, you will not only protect your implants and the attached restoration, but also lower your risk for gum disease and decay in your remaining natural teeth.
The Importance of Proper Dental Implants Maintenance
Because dental implants and their corresponding restorations are not susceptible to decay, it can be tempting to think that attentive oral hygiene is less important. However, even if you have an entire implant-supported denture, bacteria can still devastate your oral health. Microbes can build up along your gum line, regardless of whether the teeth are natural or artificial. Inflammation can easily develop into full-blown gum disease.
With attentive care, dental implants can last for any decades.
Left untreated, this condition can undermine the health not only of the gums, but of the jawbone, as well. If the bone tissue deteriorates too much, the implants will lack the support they need to stay in. In pronounced cases, bone loss could dramatically affect the overall proportions of your face.
Common Damage to Dental Implants
There are a number of habits and behaviors that can damage your implants or undermine their long-term success. These include:
- Lack of proper maintenance: Failure to brush and floss will lead to a buildup of oral bacteria, periodontal disease, and potentially tooth loss.
- Using your teeth as tools: When you bite down to open cans, tear tape, or snap thread, it can crack or chip your implant-supported restoration. In some cases, it can also weaken the implant posts.
- Chewing non-food items: Biting your nails, chewing on pencils, chewing ice, and related behaviors can also cause damage to your teeth.
- Tobacco use: Smoking and chewing tobacco increase your risk for gum disease and make it more difficult to combat oral bacteria. Tobacco also raises the likelihood of oral cancer, and the smoke can discolor your restoration.
Although implants are much stronger than many other types of restorations, even they have their limitations. Consequently, patients have to take an active role in taking care of their implants to ensure long-lasting oral health.
Taking Care of Your Restorations
Although caring for dental implants is similar to caring for your natural teeth, Dr. Tall may suggest a few modifications designed to particularly support these restorations. For instance, when brushing, you might want to use a brush with a tiny interdental brush on the end. This device can clean the area between your implant-supported restoration and your gums.
Similarly, when flossing, you should not only clean between your teeth and your prosthetic, but along the gum line to remove bacteria. Of course, regular dental cleanings are also essential both for long-lasting implants and for your general oral health.
Ensure Long-lasting Results
With attentive care, dental implants can last for any decades. For more information about dental implant maintenance, contact our office online and set up an appointment. You can also reach us at (208) 525-4780.