Dental implants are a great choice for people with missing teeth looking for a tooth replacement option. They look and feel like natural tooth roots and improve the look of your smile. Although designed for long-term performance, you must still take proper care of your dental implants. 

In this blog, we will discuss 15 tips and tricks to care for your dental implants. By following these do’s and don’ts, you can help keep your implants looking and feeling great!

  • Post-implant care is vital for ensuring their longevity and performance.

  • Practise good oral hygiene for dental implants. Brush your teeth twice daily and floss between implants.

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid damaging or wearing down your dental implants. Non-abrasive toothpaste is recommended for gentle care.

  • Antimicrobial mouthwash reduces plaque buildup and prevents gum disease and bad breath.

  • Avoid chewing on hard or sticky foods during the healing process.

  • Quit smoking. It leads to poor healing and an increased risk of infection. Avoid alcohol, as it can lead to tooth decay and periodontal disease.

  • See your dentist for regular checkups.

  • Wear a mouthguard to protect your dental implants from physical trauma. See your dentist for bruxism treatment if you grind your teeth at night.

  • Clean your implant tooth with interdental brushes and use water flossers to remove plaque and food particles.
Dentalcare of Forrestfield

The Importance of Dental Implant Care

Dental implants are a popular and effective way to replace missing teeth. They are designed to look, feel, and function like natural teeth and can last for many years with proper care. Here are some reasons why dental implant care is so important:

  1. Maintain oral health:
    Good dental implant care is essential to maintaining good oral health. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups can help prevent problems such as gum disease and tooth decay, which can lead to implant failure.

  2. Prevent infection:
    Poor oral hygiene can lead to bacterial infections around the implant site. If not addressed, these infections can cause the implant to fail and require removal.

  3. Prolong the life of the implant:
    Proper dental implant care can help prolong the life of the implant. With regular checkups and cleanings, your dentist can detect and address any issues before they become more serious.

  4. Avoid complications:
    Complications with dental implants are rare, but they can occur if the implant is not properly cared for. These complications can include implant failure, bone loss, and nerve damage.

  5. Protect your investment:
    Dental implants are a significant investment in your oral health and overall well-being. Proper dental implant care can help protect this investment and ensure that you get the most out of your implant.

Tips on How to Care For Your Dental Implants

Caring for dental implants is essential to ensure their longevity and a beautiful smile. Here are some implant aftercare tips:

  • Follow a Regular Oral Hygiene Routine:
    Dental implants are a long-term solution for those missing a tooth or multiple teeth. Like real teeth, it’s essential to clean your teeth implants. Brush your teeth twice daily and floss between titanium implants. This promotes good oral hygiene and ensures that your dental implants remain in good condition.

  • Use a Soft-bristled Toothbrush
    Using the right toothbrush prevents you from damaging your dental implants. We suggest using a soft-bristle toothbrush specially designed for dental implants. They gently clean your dental implant and ensures your gum tissue stays healthy. Avoid hard-bristled brushes; they can be too harsh on your gums and may scratch the dental implant surface.

    Electric toothbrushes are also an option. However, if they’re not within your budget, you may use a soft manual toothbrush. Use soft and light brush strokes to clean your implant.

  • Use Non-abrasive Toothpaste
    A low-abrasive toothpaste is recommended for gentle care and dental implant maintenance. Abrasive toothpaste may scratch your dental implants, and scratching may lead to plaque accumulation. Toothpaste containing ingredients such as baking soda or activated charcoal may be too harsh for your dental implants.

  • Use an Antimicrobial Mouthwash
    We recommend gargling with an antimicrobial mouthwash as part of your oral hygiene practices. Rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash reduces plaque buildup and prevents bacterial growth and bad breath.

    Use mouthwash as directed by your dentist. Mouthwash isn’t a substitute for brushing and flossing your teeth. It’s ideally used afterwards. If you have periodontal disease, consult your dentist before using an antimicrobial mouthwash.

  • Avoid Sticky or Hard Foods
    Be mindful of the food you eat after dental implant surgery. Avoid chewing on hard or sticky foods. The tough texture could traumatise your healing gums or cause the implant to dislodge.We recommend sticking to a soft food diet while your artificial tooth is healing to prevent complications. Also, rinse your mouth with warm water after meals.

  • Quit Smoking
    Smoking is terrible for your overall and dental health because it exposes your body to more than 7,000 chemicals, hundreds of which are toxic. It can damage the cells in your lungs and increase the risk of cancer, heart disease and other severe health conditions.

    Your dentist will recommend quitting smoking for 4-6 weeks before your surgery. This is to prevent complications from arising during the procedure. However, we recommend kicking the habit altogether.

    Smoking harms the healing process of dental implant procedures. It leads to an increased risk of failure and infection. Smoking can also reduce blood flow by constricting your blood vessels, impairing your body’s healing ability.

    If you smoke, see a qualified health practitioner to assess your risk of complications in getting dental implants.

  • Visit your Dentist Regularly
    Staying up-to-date on your dental appointments is key to post-implant care. See your dentist regularly after your surgical procedure. Schedule an appointment with your dentist every six months for a comprehensive checkup. Your dentist will perform checkups and a professional cleaning routine to keep your implants healthy.

  • Wear a Mouthguard
    Dental implants can fail due to physical trauma. This can be caused by constant exposure to intense pressure. Wearing mouthguards cushions these extreme pressures giving you long-term protection.People that participate in contact sports could benefit from wearing a mouthguard. It can prevent your implants from getting knocked out during intense physical activity.

  • Manage Teeth Grinding
    If you recently had dental implant surgery, managing your teeth grinding after the procedure is essential. Bruxism can cause damage to both the dental implant and the surrounding bone.Pay extra attention when brushing or flossing around your implant if you suffer from bruxism. This helps reduce wear on the dental implant surface and prevent bacteria buildup, which could lead to gum inflammation or infection at the implant site.

    Seek professional help if you experience teeth grinding, as this could indicate a deeper underlying issue causing stress or anxiety.

  • Avoid Alcohol and Sugary Beverages
    Alcohol, when consumed in excess, can lead to dry mouth, reducing salivary flow. This increases the risk of bacterial buildup around your implant and other oral tissues, leading to tooth decay and periodontal disease. Additionally, alcohol may negatively interact with your pain medication.Sugar-sweetened beverages have a similar effect.

    They can leave your implant susceptible to further damage from plaque and bacteria in the mouth. If left unaddressed, it may lead to inflammation of gum tissues and implant failure.

  • Clean Your Implant Tooth with Interdental Brushes
    Using interdental brushes to clean the spaces between dental implants and natural teeth is vital to maintaining dental health. These tiny brushes are designed to fit between each individual implant, ensuring the most challenging areas around your implants are thoroughly cleaned.

    Interdental brushes help remove plaque and food particles. Regularly using interdental brushes help reduce the risk of gum inflammation, gum disease, and long-term implant damage caused by dental implants.

  • Use Water Flossers
    Water flossers use a pressurised stream to dislodge food particles and debris from the teeth. The water pressure helps clean the gums, removing built-up plaque on the gum line. Water flossers also help reduce inflammation of the gums, which can be caused by plaque buildup.

    Oral irrigators are an effective way to remove food particles and debris from hard-to-reach areas around the implant. This device is a great addition to regular brushing and flossing as it can target plaque buildup in places that a toothbrush or floss can’t easily access.

  • Avoid Using Metal Instruments
    Metal instruments should be avoided when cleaning dental implants. An example of this is a metal tongue cleaner. This can scratch or damage the implant’s surface, weakening its structural integrity over time. Metal instruments can also cause corrosion and bacteria growth on the implant if not sterilised after each use.

  • Follow a Nutritious Diet
    Eating a healthy diet with adequate vitamins and minerals is important for maintaining implant health and promoting healing. Foods rich in calcium and vitamin D, such as dairy products, green leafy vegetables, and fish, are especially beneficial.

    Getting enough protein from lean meats, beans, and nuts can also help promote the healing of the surrounding tissue around implants. Vitamin C is essential for maintaining gum health and can be found in citrus fruits, broccoli, and tomatoes.

    Also, avoid hot foods for the first couple of weeks after implant treatment.

  • Practice Good Overall Health Habits
    Practising good overall health habits is essential for maintaining the health and longevity of your dental implants. Getting enough sleep and reducing stress can keep your immune system functioning properly, aiding in the healing process of your implant site. Additionally, regular exercise helps increase blood flow throughout the body, supporting healthy tissue regeneration around the implant.

What Happens If You Don’t Care For Your Dental Implants

Dental implants are an invasive procedure. They’re designed to last long, with proper post-implant care and maintenance. However, they might fail if you neglect to care for your implants. Here are some consequences of improper dental implant care:

  1. Infection.
    One of the most common problems that can occur is infection. If bacteria accumulate around the implant, it can lead to infection in the gums and surrounding tissues. This can cause pain, swelling, and even damage to the implant. In severe cases, the infection may require antibiotics or surgery to manage.

  2. Implant failure.
    Implant failure occurs when the implant isn’t properly integrated into the jawbone. If the implant fails, it may need to be removed or replaced.

  3. Gum disease.
    This is a common problem that affects both natural teeth and dental implants. If you don’t take care of your implant properly, you may be at higher risk of developing gum disease. This can cause the gums to recede, exposing the implant and making it more susceptible to damage.

  4. Pain and discomfort.
    If you don’t care for your dental implants, you may experience pain and discomfort. Various factors, including infection, implant failure, and gum disease, can cause this. If you experience pain or discomfort around your implant, see your dentist immediately to address the issue.

Signs of Dental Implant Failure

Dental implant failure can occur for a number of reasons. The most common causes are infection, inadequate support, and overloading. 

Signs and symptoms of dental implant failure include: 

  • Pain:
    One of the most common signs of dental implant failure is pain. This pain ranges from mild to severe and can be constant or intermittent. Eating or drinking cold or hot foods or beverages often makes it worse.

  • Swelling:
    Another common sign of dental implant failure is swelling in the gums around the implant. This swelling can range from mild to severe. In some cases, it may make the implant feel loose. 

  • Inflammation:
    Inflammation is another common sign of dental implant failure. This inflammation can cause the gums around the implant to appear red and swollen. It may cause excessive bleeding when brushing or flossing around the implant. 

  • Implant instability:
    In some cases, dental implants may become loose due to bone loss around the implant. This leads to instability and implant failure. 

If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of dental implant failure, you must see a dentist immediately for an evaluation. Early diagnosis and a dental treatment plan are essential for successfully managing dental implants. 

Final Thoughts

Dental implants are a significant investment in oral health and appearance that can last years with proper care by following good overall health habits, such as getting enough sleep, reducing stress, and exercising regularly.

Practising good oral hygiene for dental implants is essential, such as brushing twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and regularly flossing. Dental water jets may be used to clean hard-to-reach places. Finally, regular visits to your dentist are necessary to ensure your implants are healthy and functioning correctly. With these simple tips and tricks, you can ensure your dental implants stay healthy and functional for years!

Frequently Asked Questions

A dental implant is made of three parts, including the following:

  1. The implant post is a small post made of titanium that acts as a root-like structure, as it is surgically implanted into your jawbone. Titanium is used because it’s biocompatible, which means there is minimal risk of causing allergic reactions or rejection. The implant post acts like an artificial tooth root and helps hold the implant in place.

  2. The abutment is attached to the implant post and serves as a connector between the implant post and the prosthesis.

  3. The prosthesis consists of metal or ceramic components. It is fabricated to mimic the appearance of teeth, and it is attached to the abutment. 

While there is likely to be some pain associated with the procedure, it won’t be nearly as severe as you might fear. Most patients report only mild discomfort during and after the implant surgery, typically alleviated by prescription or over-the-counter medications. In addition, during the procedure, local anesthesia helps reduce pain without putting the patient completely under. Overall, most patients find that the temporary minor discomfort is far overshadowed by the years of improved oral health they experience afterwards with dental implants.

The recovery period for dental implants usually takes between three and six months, but it may take longer depending on the individual’s oral health status. During this time, the bone surrounding the implant will fuse with the implant to create a secure base for your replacement teeth.

Immediately following your dental implant surgery, you may experience some swelling and discomfort in your gums, jaw, and around your mouth, which may last up to a few days. Your dentist may prescribe pain medications to help manage the discomfort. It’s important to attend all follow-up appointments with your dentist during this time. They can check your progress and keep an eye out for any potential complications.

The price of a titanium implant ranges from $4,000 – $6,000 per implant. However, it is important to remember that the cost of dental implants varies due to various factors. To get a more accurate estimate, visit your dentist at Dentalcare of Forrestfield for a consultation.