How to Care for Dental Implants
After dental implant surgery, many patients have questions about how to care for their new implant. Dental implants are very similar to natural teeth in construction and durability. While for the most part you can treat your new implant just like your other teeth, there are some things to consider when taking care of your new tooth.
Dr. Hudson recommends patients take the self-care steps below to maintain their implant and stay healthy.
Prepare for the implant. Ideally, your oral surgeon wants your mouth as healthy as possible when you receive your new implant. A checkup will identify any areas of concern, like bleeding gums or infection. These issues could cause a problem with your implant procedure and should be remedied before your surgery.
Take care post-op. After the implant is placed, patients should follow all aftercare instructions given by Dr. Hudson. These instructions include taking antibiotics as instructed to minimize infection, eating soft foods, and avoiding foods or snacks with added sugars. Patients should also avoid using tobacco products.
Practice proper oral hygiene. You should brush your implant and the area around it as you normally would brush your teeth. Use a brush with tapered bristles in order to clean below the gum line. Be sure to floss regularly. There are implant-specific flosses available, but any floss will work. Practicing good oral hygiene will help speed up the healing process after surgery. Plaque buildup can occur on dental implants just like regular teeth, and that can cause decay and gingivitis.
Clean between. Take the time to clean between your implant and the teeth surrounding it. Use a soft dental pick to remove bits of food that your brush can’t reach. Using a soft pick will prevent scratching of the implant or other damage that can occur from using metal picks. Never use objects not intended for use on the teeth, like bobby pins, safety pins or paper clips.
Keep your appointments. It is critical to keep your aftercare appointments to ensure you are healing properly. Even after you are healed, getting regular checkups is important for maintaining your dental health and to check that peri-implantitis, a rare infection of the tissue around the implant, hasn’t occurred. It is also a chance to check that the implant is still in good shape.
If you have questions about dental implants or how to care for your implant, contact Dr. Hudson today at 918-491-9996.