Dental implants are a popular option for those looking to replace missing teeth. However, many believe that once they have them, they don’t have to worry about their oral health; this couldn’t be further from the truth!
Not only will you enjoy better results, but you’ll also get the most out of your investment by knowing how to clean your implants properly. Our West Omaha dentists explain how to clean dental implants here.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are small posts surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. Implants act as tooth root substitutes and create a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Once the implant and bone bond, an abutment is added, allowing a dental crown to be securely attached.
Dental implant treatment can take several months but doesn’t stop there. Caring for your implants is crucial and will determine how long they last.
How to Clean Dental Implants
You should clean your dental implants the same way as your regular teeth. While post-implant surgery is painful for some patients, maintaining a strict cleaning regimen is the only way to prevent infection and other issues. Here are our five tips on how to clean your dental implants.
Brush Your Teeth Twice Daily
While dental implants won’t develop cavities, they can still accumulate plaque and stains. Plan to brush your implants at least two minutes twice a day the same way you do your other teeth.
It also helps to use a soft or extra-soft toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste to protect your gums and restorations.
You can floss around dental implants the same way as your regular teeth. Simply slide the floss between implants and wrap it in a “C” shape. Thoroughly clean the sides and under the gums before moving to the next tooth or implant. When flossing, be careful not to damage the implant or the surrounding area.
Water flossing is also a great option. A water flossing device uses a steady stream of water to clean between your teeth and below the gum line, where brushing and flossing can’t reach. You can use it before brushing and trace it around your implants and teeth.
Whether you floss or use a water flosser, try to do it at least once a day; this is one of the only ways to keep your smile healthy because a toothbrush can’t always clean those hard-to-reach spots.
You’ll want to avoid mouthwash for about a month after implant surgery. Your oral surgeon will likely have you rinse with saltwater during this time. However, once the surgery site heals, you can use an antimicrobial mouth to eliminate bacteria and reduce the risk of infection.
Try a Gum Stimulator
A gum stimulator is a dental tool designed to strengthen the gums and firm up gum tissue. It consists of an angled handle with a rubber tip that gets into the gum pocket and removes built-up plaque.
Dentists recommend gum stimulators for patients with periodontal disease or those undergoing dental implant surgery and other regenerative procedures. Massaging your gums will help reduce bleeding and inflammation.
See Your Dentist
As you’d expect, regular dental check-ups are essential to caring for your implants. Your dentist can detect and address any concerns before they become an issue. Plus, they still need to screen for oral cancer and measure for bone loss around the replacement.
They also have special tools designed to clean around your implants — so plan to keep your regular six-month appointment!
Why You Should Clean Your Dental Implants
While dental implants aren’t susceptible to decay, poor oral hygiene can lead to other issues, such as staining and peri-implantitis (inflammation of the soft and hard gum tissues around dental implants that eventually leads to implant failure).
Keeping your implants clean also helps maintain their appearance and function and the health of your surrounding teeth and gums.
Dental Implants in Omaha, NE
Now that you know how to clean your dental implants, use these tips to keep them looking for their best for years to come.
Eagle Run West Dental Group offers comprehensive dental implant options in Omaha, NE. If you’re considering implants, call 402-498-8804 or contact us to schedule a consultation.
About the Author: Drs. Sharlene and Robert Wilson offer various general and cosmetic dentistry services in Omaha, NE. They earned their doctorate from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry. With over 30 years of combined experience, both are committed to helping patients achieve beautiful, healthy, and long-lasting smiles. Call 402-498-8804 to schedule an appointment.