Although dental implants function like natural teeth, they are not susceptible to decay in the same way that your natural tissue is. However, this does not make maintenance any less important. Knowing how to clean dental implants and taking the time to meticulously care for them is as important as it is for natural teeth.
Our team at Stubbs Dental in Bountiful, UT, and Layton, UT, takes pride in arming patients with the tools and knowledge to keep their smile healthy. We will walk you through everything you need to know to take care of your implants.
Why Clean Metal Implants?
Although implants do not decay, they can develop plaque. If this sticky, bacterial-laden substance is not regularly removed, it can irritate and even inflame the surrounding gum tissue.
Known as gingivitis in its early stages, this condition can easily advance into periodontitis. This more severe disease can trigger gum recession and erode the bone that supports both your natural teeth and your implants. Consequently, a regular oral hygiene routine is essential to maintaining the results of your treatment.
Daily Oral Hygiene Routine
Cleaning a fixed implant-supported restoration, such as All-on-4® implants, is very much the same as cleaning your natural smile. Patients should brush twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and floss once a day. Although you must brush thoroughly to effectively remove plaque, it is important to be gentle enough that you do not damage your gums. Implant patients should also consider using a low-abrasive, tartar-control toothpaste.
However, your cleaning routine may need a few adjustments. Flossing is sometimes challenging with implants, so hygienists often advise patients to use floss threaders to insert the floss between the implants. Another useful device is a small interdental brush designed specifically to clean in between teeth and implants. Patients might also consider using antimicrobial mouth rinses.
Protect Your Implants
Implants are strong and resilient, but they are not indestructible. Placing them requires such a significant investment of time and money that it is important to maintain them as thoroughly as possible.
In addition to plaque control, patients should avoid using their implants for anything other than chewing their food, such as tearing off pieces of tape, biting their nails, or chewing on pencils. The prostheses are not designed for this type of action, which can weaken or damage them over time.
With proper daily care, both natural teeth and implants can last a lifetime.
All patients, including those with implants, are also advised to avoid using tobacco. Besides the obvious health concerns tobacco use poses, it can leave stains and make them more susceptible to gum disease.
Regular checkups and cleanings with your dentist and hygienist are also essential to long-term results. Your providers can perform professional cleanings and carefully inspect the implants to assess the risk of damage. Any minor issue, such as a loosened screw or an area of inflammation, can be corrected before it becomes a more serious problem.
Help is at Your Fingertips
With proper daily care, both natural teeth and implants can last a lifetime. If you are interested in learning the best and latest home care techniques, we encourage you to reach out to our office. Our dentists and oral hygiene specialists have the knowledge and the skills to help patients achieve and maintain optimal dental health. Call for an appointment today at (801) 896-9761 or reach out online.