Maintaining and Caring for Dental Implants
Getting dental implants dramatically improves your ability to eat, smile, and speak. Once your implants are in place, taking proper care of them is crucial. Keeping them free of food debris, plaque, and harmful bacteria is essential to prevent complications such as infection or implant failure.
At-Home Dental Implant Care
Although caring for your teeth restorations is similar to caring for natural teeth, there are a few things to keep in mind depending on your implant type.
For Fixed Implant Restorations:
- Floss daily using an unwaxed flossing tape or floss designed for implant restorations
- Brush twice daily using a soft-bristle toothbrush
- Use a low-abrasive toothpaste
- Brush thoroughly around and under the crown or full arch
- Use a mouth irrigator recommended by your dentist
For Removable Overdentures:
- Remove and soak your removable denture in cleaner specifically designed for dentures
- Brush the underside of the denture with a denture brush
- Inspect attachment devices for wear and tear
- Rinse thoroughly before returning to the mouth
We urge you to take great care of your dental implants and restorations. Proper oral hygiene is even more important if you have dental implants. Flossing is the most efficient way to prevent plaque accumulation. If you did not regularly floss your teeth before getting implants, it is time to start.
We recommend seeing your dentist every three to six months for a complete dental exam and a professional cleaning by a dental hygienist. The hygienist will remove any plaque and note any problems, such as gingivitis. Professional cleanings can reach areas you may have missed.
After your professional cleaning, your dentist will examine your dental implants and check for any signs of implant failure or infection. They will also ensure each crown or prosthetic fits securely and that none of the attachments are worn or need repair.
Your dentist will periodically take x-rays or digital images to evaluate the condition of the implants. They will check your bite and examine all parts of the restoration to ensure everything is securely attached and functioning properly. They will also probe and measure the gum pockets around the implants and compare them to previous visits.
Proper daily care in conjunction with regular checkups by your dentist ensures your dental implants can last a lifetime. If you have questions about how to care for your dental implants, or have not had yours checked recently, please contact our office at 813-968-5400 for an appointment.