Dental implants are the best way to replace missing teeth and help regain dental functioning. In order to keep them clean and healthy, you have to understand the dental implant care.
The Importance of Proper Hygiene and Dental Implant Care
Just like natural teeth, dental implants require proper dental hygiene. Poor care allows bacteria to build around the implant and increases the risk for an infection known as peri-implantitis.
If untreated, the infection causes the implant to separate from the gums and causes bone loss in surrounding teeth. Keeping your implant clean of plaque, build-up and bacteria helps prevent this potentially serious infection.
Bleeding around the implant is a sign that you are at risk for peri-implantitis, so it is important to schedule a visit with your dentist if you notice any blood.
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How to Take Care of Your Dental Implants
Dental implants require brushing and flossing that is a bit more extensive than the processes for natural teeth. Here are some tips to modify these habits to best accommodate your implants:
- Your gum line is at risk for bacteria and build-up. Tapered toothbrushes are properly shaped to care for this area.
- Gentle brush strokes and soft bristles are necessary to prevent inflammation and the loosening of the implant.
- Non-abrasive, tartar control toothpaste are best suited to care for the surface of the implant. Avoid toothpaste with baking soda, too much fluoride, and those designed for smokers.
- Cleaning between teeth is particularly important, so flossing once or twice daily is a key step to proper care of dental implants.
- Dental tape is the recommended floss for implant care. Use the floss to surround the tooth with a “u” shape and carefully move in a shoe-shine motion.
- Other tools to care for the area between your teeth are water picks, inter-dental toothbrush and soft picks. It is critical that these tools be gentle, and your dentist will help you decide which tool is best for you.
- To prevent bacteria build-up, use gentle, antimicrobial mouthwashes once or twice daily.
- If you implant is removable, you can use a soft toothbrush to thoroughly clean the tooth while it is out of your mouth.
The Importance of Dental Visits
Our Los Angeles dental office has special tools to care for your dental implants. Softer scales and curettes are specifically designed to scrape the build-up on the implant.
The dentists at New Image Dental may also use ultrasonic cleansers on your teeth. These tools use vibration to safely loosen significant plaque, tartar and bacteria on the implant.
X-rays also reveal if there is too much build-up. Because the cleanliness of your implants is so important, be sure to visit your dentist every 3 to 6 months.