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Dental Implant Care: 7 Tips for Looking After Your Implants

dental implant care

Are you about to get dental implants?

If so, you should be really excited, as dental implants can help you feel more confident about your smile.

And seeing as people with beautiful smiles are more likely to be successful and have higher self-esteem, you should be downright ecstatic about your dental implants. 

But, in order for you to have a gorgeous smile and reap the full benefits of your dental implants, you need to make sure you practice good dental implant care. 

Your dental implant care starts from the minute you walk out of your dentist’s office. 

So, what do you need to do to take care of your implants?

Check out this guide to learn everything you need to know about caring for your dental implants. 

1. Use a Soft Nylon Brush 

After getting dental implants, there’s a chance that you may need to switch toothbrushes. 

This is because nylon toothbrushes come with bristles that are pliable and gentle on your dental implants. You can also use a Proxabrush to clean the hard-to-reach areas around your dental implants.

Make sure you avoid toothbrushes that contain hard bristles, as these can scratch the surface of your implants. In fact, you should avoid using any sort of metal instrument to clean your mouth once your implants are in place. 

Instead, just stick to regular brushing and flossing twice a day. 

2. Avoid Abrasive Products 

Whether it’s toothpaste or mouthwash, you’ll want to stick to buying sensitive cleaning products as much as possible once you get your dental implants. 

This is because products that are too abrasive can cause extreme discomfort. 

In general, you’ll also want to avoid oral hygiene products with intense flavors, like mint or cinnamon, as these can cause an uncomfortable feeling in your mouth. 

3. Floss Daily 

Did you know that only 16% of American adults floss every day? That means that 84% of people aren’t flossing enough! 

If you’re a part this statistic, then it’s time to change things now that you have dental implants. 

With dental implants, flossing becomes more important than ever. This is because plaque can easily accumulate around your implants, which can lead to other oral hygiene issues. 

The great thing is, there are many types of flosses out there designed specifically for those with dental implants, so you really have no excuse not to brush your teeth. 

If you have trouble taking time out of your day to floss, then keep these tips in mind that will help you floss more often:

Set a Reminder on Your Phone

This is great for those days when you feel too busy!

Stash Floss in Your Car or Purse

By having floss on you at all times, you can take advantage of any downtime you have to take care of your teeth.

Reward Yourself for Flossing

If you need an incentive to finally start flossing, that’s OK. Reward yourself with an extra episode of your favorite TV show. If you make it 30 days in a row flossing, then make the reward even bigger. Think a pair of new shoes or a day at the spa!

Do It While You’re Watching TV 

If you floss while you’re watching TV or doing something else that’s mindless, it won’t feel like as much of a chore. 

It can also be a good idea to invest in a Waterpik, as this takes a lot of the grunt work out of flossing.

4. Avoid Sticky/Hard Foods

Eating hard/sticky foods can result in damage to your implants. Not to mention, these foods can cause damage to opposing teeth as well. 

Some foods you should avoid after getting implants include:

  • Ice 
  • Caramel
  • Dried fruit
  • Hard candies
  • Hardshell tacos
  • Potato chips
  • Carrots
  • Apples
  • Steak 
  • Crusty bread, such as French bread

By avoiding these foods, your dental implants will stay healthy. 

5. Avoid Smoking and Alcohol

Avoiding smoking and alcohol is a good idea for your health in general. However, it’s particularly important that you avoid these substances when you have dental implants. 

Remember, your dental implants take about 6 months to heal, so smoking during this time period can be particularly detrimental. Also, drinking alcohol has shown to slow down the healing process of dental implants, so this should be avoided as much as possible. 

6. Schedule Regular Visits to the Dentist 

Dental implants can help improve your smile. However, they’re not a cure for all dental hygiene issues. 

Depending on your overall oral health, you should plan to visit your dentist at least twice per year. 

With proper care and regular visits to the dentist, your dental implants can last a lifetime. 

7. Immediate Aftercare Tips 

Of course, you’re also probably wondering how you should take care of your dental implants immediately following the procedure. 

After you get dental implants, you’re likely going to experience some pain in swelling over the next 24 hours. This is normal, and therefore shouldn’t alarm you. 

Here are some things to do after your procedure:

  • To control bleeding, bite on the sponges that were placed in your mouth
  • For the first 8 to 12 hours post-surgery, avoid moving around excessively and keep your head elevated
  • Hold an ice pack to your face in 15-minute intervals as needed
  • For the first 24 hours, only consume soft foods and beverages
  • Take prescribed medications as directed by your doctor
  • For the first 24 hours, avoid rinsing your mouth

Also, remember that you shouldn’t drive yourself home after the procedure. 

Are You Ready for Dental Implant Care? 

As you can see, caring for your dental implants is fairly easy and straightforward. 

If you have any questions about dental implant care, please let us know in the comments below. 

And, if you still need to schedule your dental implant procedure, get in touch with us today

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