Best Ways to Maintain Dental Implants
Dental implants offer a permanent, long-lasting tooth replacement option for people who are missing a single tooth, a few teeth, or all of their teeth. But do you know how to care for your implants and restorations? To ensure their longevity, implants need proper daily care and professional cleanings, just like natural teeth do.
Whether you’re considering implants or already have them, understanding how to take great care of implant-supported teeth is important. As implant dentists, Drs. Joe McIntyre, Dan Whiting, and Bryant Ash, serve Harrisonburg, VA, and surrounding areas from their offices in Bridgewater and Staunton. The Smiles for Life Dental Care team can evaluate your records, answer all of your questions, and help you achieve and maintain great oral health.
Daily Homecare of Dental Implants
Taking care of dental implants is just like caring for natural teeth.
Brush Twice Daily
Implant restorations should be brushed gently, with attention to cleaning all sides of the teeth. Brush for two minutes at a time, paying special attention to brushing around the implant crown, at the gum line.
Brushing in the morning removes bacteria that accumulated overnight. Brushing before bed removes bacteria and food debris that have built up throughout the day. If possible, brush after meals to keep teeth clean and fresh all day long.
Use a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush (Manual or Electric)
Soft bristles are less likely to damage gums, enamel, and the ceramic of your implant prosthetic. You may think that a stiffer toothbrush will clean better, but soft bristles are just as efficient as medium and hard bristles.
Implant patients with dexterity challenges may prefer using an electric toothbrush. Manual and electric toothbrushes showed similar effectiveness, in clinical studies.
Use Non-Abrasive Toothpaste
Toothpastes specifically geared toward care of dental implants will prolong the life of the implant restoration. Some toothpastes, particularly those for whitening and tartar control, contain abrasive ingredients like baking soda. Your dentist or hygienist can recommend a mildly or non-abrasive toothpaste.
Periodic Professional Exams and Cleanings
Everyone should visit the dentist for professional exams and cleanings twice per year. Your dentist or dental hygienist may suggest three-month visits instead. More frequent appointments will allow your dental team to monitor the condition of dental implants.
At an exam, our dentist will evaluate your oral health and may look at x-rays of your implant. A dental hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth and check your gums for signs of gingivitis.
Results of Improper Care
Dental implant problems may develop if daily and professional care are not performed. One of the earliest signs of an implant problem is mucositis. If caught early, the condition is reversible. Without professional intervention, mucositis will advance to peri-implantitis, a condition that can ultimately lead to implant failure.
Excellent Dental Implant Care in Bridgewater and Staunton, VA
Drs. Joe McIntyre, Dan Whiting, and Bryant Ash have locations in Bridgewater and Staunton, VA. The Smiles for Life teams are ready to answer all of your dental implant questions. Call (540) 828-2312 or request a consultation through our website today.