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How Do I Maintain My Dental Implants?

Long-term success of implants depends on how well they are maintained. Regular dental visits are essential. Your dentist will develop a dental visit program to ensure the health of your implants and remaining natural teeth.

Periodontal disease can strike when teeth and gums are not properly cleaned. If left untreated bone loss, which weakens supporting structures, can lead to loss of dental implants as well as tooth loss.

Home Care: Daily brushing and flossing are absolutely necessary for long-term success. There are also many supplemental products that allow you to clean the implants properly. Your dentist will design a home care regime that will suit your individual needs.

Brushing: Your dentist may recommend a cordless electric toothbrush. Whether you use a standard brush or electric toothbrush, your dentist and hygienist will review your brushing techniques to ensure that you are cleaning the area properly.

Oral Irrigation Systems: Research has shown that oral irrigation is effective in reducing plaque accumulation around dental implants and natural teeth. Your dentist may also suggest that you use a special mouth rinse.

Flossing: Good home care includes daily flossing. Floss threaders are very helpful in allowing you to reach around implants, under bridges and bars so these areas can be easily cleaned. Your dentist may also recommend special types of floss.

Interproximal Brushes: These small dental brushes, also called "Proxy Brushes", are specifically designed to clean between the teeth and implants. While not a replacement for dental floss they are helpful in cleaning hard to reach areas.

Dental Visits: It is typically recommended that patients visit their dentist for professional cleanings every 3-6 months. However, your dentist will design a dental visit program specifically for you.

Tooth Pastes: Most toothpastes contain fluoride, since they are designed for natural teeth. Fluoride does not hurt dental implant restorations.

Avoid toothpastes that contain excessively abrasive ingredients (baking soda, stain removers, smoker's toothpastes, etc). Abrasive toothpastes can create wear on acrylic and can remove the glaze on porcelain.

Mouth Washes:
Most commercial mouth rinses are designed to give a "fresh breath feeling." Alcohol is used in most mouth rinses and could cause dryness of the mouth. Patients who have dry mouth should avoid mouth rinses that contain alcohol. There are plenty of alcohol-free mouth rinses available today.

 

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