Did you get dental implants in 2020? Are you planning to get dental implants in 2021? Whether you’ve had dental implants for years, have only had them for a few months, or are planning to get them, here are some easy and effective ways to care for your dental implants in 2021:
Brush and Floss Daily
Although dental implants are mounted to artificial teeth, they still need to be cared for like natural teeth. This means that they will need to be brushed twice a day for two minutes at a time and flossed daily. It is especially important to floss around the base of the implant to ensure that you remove any food debris that has accumulated. Brushing and flossing daily removes plaque and bacteria from along in the gums in order to prevent gum disease.
Get the Right Dental Supplies
Another way to take care of your dental implants is to make sure you have the right supplies. For starters, you will want a soft bristled toothbrush that is long enough to reach the back of your mouth. Some dentists recommend using an electric toothbrush to care for dental implants, especially if you struggle with the proper brushing technique. To make flossing easier, you may also want to consider getting a floss threader or a small interdental brush to clean around the implant. Additionally, water flossers tend to work really well for cleaning around dental implants and they are easier to deal with than traditional dental floss.
Switch Your Toothbrush
Did you know that you are supposed to switch your toothbrush every three months? As your toothbrush bristles begin to fray and fade in color, which usually happens about every three months, you will need to replace it with a new one. Replacing your toothbrush regularly ensures that dental plaque and bacteria are being effectively removed from your mouth. Additionally, replacing your toothbrush also prevents excess bacteria from developing on your toothbrush.
Avoid Things that Can Damage Your Implants
While dental implants are known for their strength and durability, they are not completely indestructible and certain behaviors can increase the risk of them becoming damaged. Things like nail biting, chewing on pens or ice, using your teeth to open packages or hold things, and chewing on extremely hard foods can all potentially damage your dental implant and the attached prosthetic. Teeth grinding and clenching is another thing that can cause damage to your dental implants, so you may need to ask your dentist about getting a nightguard if you don’t already have one.
Drink More Water
Water has a number of benefits, not just for your overall health, but for your oral health as well. Perhaps one of the most important benefits to your oral health is that it promotes saliva production. Saliva is extremely important to dental implants because it helps to remove excess food and bacteria, as well as neutralizes acids produced by bacteria. It is especially beneficial to drink water after eating since this cleans your mouth if you are unable to brush. If you suffer from dry mouth, drinking more water can also help to alleviate feelings of being parched.
Visit Your Implant Dentist at Least Twice
Throughout the new year, be sure to visit your dentist at least twice for exams and cleanings. In some cases, your dentist may recommend more frequent visits, especially if they notice problems with your oral health. Although dental implants have replaced your natural teeth, it is still important for you to have regular checkups and cleanings to maintain your implants. This is especially important if you still have some remaining natural teeth and wish to preserve them.
Irfan Atcha, DDS, DICOI, DADIA at New Teeth Chicago Dental in Chicago, Illinois is a board-certified general dentist and a nationally recognized expert in dental implants, cosmetic dentistry, and sedation dentistry.