In order to maintain a healthy dental implant, there are certain precautions one must take. These cleansing habits are very similar to the ones all people should already be doing with their natural teeth. It’s important to take care of dental implants as if there were your original teeth.
Each dentist will explain all proper care instructions in detail right after you have your dental implant. This is very important to maintain the integrity of the procedure.
In this article, we will explain to you everything you need to know about taking care of dental implants.
We also have another article answering the most common questions about dental implants in Mexico. You can find it here.
What should you do immediately after dental implant surgery?
When you finish your dental implant surgery, you will go home on the same day. Soon after you return home, the anesthesia will start fading, and some light pain may start appearing. Don’t be alarmed, because this is normal after dental implant surgery. For a smooth recovery, do the following:
- In the first hour after surgery, bite on gauze or tissue to stop any bleeding.
- For the first half of the day, keep the mouth shut as much as possible. You can also maintain your head elevated to help blood pressure in the healing areas.
- If you are swollen, place a pack of ice on your cheek and hold it in place for 15 minutes increments.
- In the first 24-48 hours, eat only soft foods.
- For the first 72 hours, you might experience bleeding and swelling. It is important to take the prescribed medications to avoid pain.
- Your gums will heal in about 10 to 15 days. Take utmost care of your mouth during this time.
- The entire healing process time is different from patient to patient. The osseointegration between the implant and the bone can take anywhere between 3 to 6 months.
It’s very important to know that smoking and drinking alcohol are going to heavily interfere with your healing process. It’s highly recommended to be extra health-conscious, and do what’s best for your body during this time. Your body needs to accept the implant and heal around it. Giving your body the right conditions to heal means proper diet & rest.
Always discuss with your dentist how to take care of your dental implants.
Hear from Dr. Nestor all about the dental implant process below.
What happens after the osseointegration process?
Once the implant has fused to your bone and has the strength to attach something to it, you will come back in for your second trip. The doctor will then place the final crown on the implant, the process will be finished. So now what?
First off, it’s time to fully enjoy your new teeth! Smiling and eating a lot of delicious food! It’s going to be great, but to keep your new teeth healthy, you need to take proper care of them.
Your dentist should always explain to you how to take care of your dental implant and crown. For the most part, follow the same health guidelines as with natural teeth. Remember that implants and crowns are designed to function very similarly.
How do you take care of a dental implant?
As a patient with a brand new dental implant, you need to have daily healthy habits to maintain your dental implant’s health. Doing that will keep them as good as new and they can last you 25 years to a lifetime. Here are 6 basic but important things to consider:
1. Use a soft toothbrush made with nylon around your dental crown to care for your dental implant
Using a nylon soft toothbrush can help to clean your crown deeply and gently.
Nylon has bristles that are softer for the surface of your implants, which along with the flexibility of the material, makes them perfect for deep cleaning around your new crown.
Avoid using any sort of hard material to brush your teeth. Always make sure that the bristles are soft. Brush and floss your teeth twice per day or after each meal.
2. Try not to use abrasive products on your dental crown to properly care for your dental implant
It is very important to change your cleaning products to non-abrasive ones. Try to pick toothpaste, mouthwashes, and dental floss designed specifically for sensitive teeth.
You should also avoid intense flavor products, such as cinnamon or strong mint. These can cause an undesired feeling in your mouth for some patients.
3. Use crown floss to clean around your dental crown
A crown (or a bridge) floss is specifically designed to properly clean under and around the crown & abutment.
It has two parts. The first part is soft and thread-like, while the other part is rigid. These qualities make this a perfect tool to perfectly floss your crown.
With dental implants, flossing daily is critical! You must floss. If you have trouble remembering to floss, try to set a daily reminder. You can also reward yourself every time you floss. Focus on making flossing a habit. If you can, floss after each meal…your spouse will thank you for it anyway!
4. Beware of tough or sticky food on your dental crown
It’s important to consider your implants when you are eating. Foods that are sticky, tough, or chewy should be approached with care. An implant can be damaged by the following foods:
- Hard candies
- Full-size carrots
- Crusty bread
- Potato chips
This list is just a guideline and doesn’t mean that you can’t eat these food. Just be careful. If you do decide to eat something tough, chew slowly and softly. Stop if you ever feel anything unusual in the area of your implant.
5. Try not to smoke or drink during your dental implant healing process
Habits such as smoking and drinking are not good for your overall health, but this is especially important during the implant process. We understand that adults will always make their own decisions, but their dental health might be affected if they choose to continue with unhealthy habits.
Drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes is especially problematic for the implant healing process. Studies have shown that these two habits reduce the healing capacity of the body significantly. The bone has trouble fuzing to the implant and your body does not work as it should properly. Smoking also contains chemicals that stain and harm your teeth, including your dental implants.
If you are a heavy smoker, you absolutely must not while your implant is in its healing stage. Overlooking this advice might cause your bone to heal slower, and in extreme cases, the implant to fail. Remember that the osseointegration can take up to 6 months to complete. It’s tough, but you can do it!
6. Visit your dentist regularly and learn how to take care of your dental implant
This tip seems to be obvious, nonetheless, a lot of people forget about it. It’s very important to visit your dentist for regular checkups. A dentist should follow up with x-rays or CT scans to make sure the bone is still strong and everything is working properly. They would also teach you how to properly take care of your dental implants.
We highly recommend scheduling an appointment with the dentist every 6 months. Your dentist will perform exhaustive oral cleansing to remove plaques and bacteria. In addition, your doctor will look for signs of decay and treat them accordingly.
With the dentist’s help, taking care of your new smile will be easy. Just follow these guidelines and your dental implant can last a lifetime.
Every person needs to smile in life!
Taking care of dental implants is simple! Just take care of them as if they were your real teeth…or maybe even better. It’s never too late to build healthy dental habits in your life.
Having a dental implant is a good wake-up call to change your life for the better. Taking care of your implant means taking care of your health. The best option to do so is to always maintain excellent communication with your dentist and never be afraid to ask them about the condition of your implant. Trust is vital in your relationship with your dentist. Our professionals will always answer your doubts, and follow you up throughout the entire treatment.
If you are gathering information about dental implants, we highly recommend you visit our before and after photo gallery. There, you will get an idea of how much of a positive impact a dental implant can have on your smile.
You can get more information about how to get a dental implant in the following article: Getting dental implants in Mexico.
At SOTA Dental, we look forward to improving your smile.