Top Tips for Taking Care of Your Dental Implants

Dental implants are a natural looking, durable, and long-lasting solution for tooth loss which helps to restore patients smiles and improve their quality of life.

If you have a dental implant or are considering having them then it is important to know what you can do to look after them. We spoke to some local dentists who carry out dental implants in Essex at their practice to find out their top tips for taking care of your dental implants.

  • What is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant consists of a titanium screw or rod that acts as a replacement tooth root and a crown which is an artificial tooth that is anchored to the implant. The implant is surgically implanted directly into the jawbone where the missing tooth is and it then takes around 3-6 months to heal and gradually integrate with the bone. The crown is coloured, shaped, and crafted to perfectly match the existing teeth and create a natural looking smile.

  • Do dental implants require special cleaning?

Although one of the many appeals of dental implants is that they don’t require any special treatment or maintenance, there are some things you can do when it comes to cleaning that will help to keep them looking and feeling their best, which will also benefit your other teeth.

  • Use an electric toothbrush with a soft bristle head and ensure that you change them regularly, around every 3 months is recommended.
  • It is important to never skip brushing your teeth and ensure you do it properly for a full 2 minutes, covering all the sides and surfaces of the teeth and implants.
  • Use a nonabrasive toothpaste.
  • Oral irrigators have been proven to remove up to 99% more plaque when used alongside your daily brushing routine so could be worth considering.
  • Use floss, interdental brushes or implant specific floss to clean between the teeth and the areas around the dental implant.
  • Rinse with an anti-plaque mouthwash between brushes and not after brushing which is a common mistake for people to make.
  • Attending hygienist appointments between your regular dental check-ups will help to maintain good oral hygiene and ensure that your implants, teeth, and gums are clean, healthy, and free from plaque, tartar and gum disease.
  • The don’ts of dental implants

Although dental implants are extremely strong and durable, you want to take care of them just like you would your natural teeth, so there are some key things to avoid.

Trauma – If you play a sport then it is important that you help to minimise risk of dental trauma by wearing a mouth guard to help protect the teeth and implant.

Smoking – Not only do tobacco products contribute to gum disease but they can harm the jawbone causing the implants to weaken over time. They also lower the immune system which means if you smoke within the first few months following your implant surgery then it can lead to major complications or even implant failure.

Tooth grinding – This can wear down teeth and implants overtime, causing them to chip and crack. Avoid this from happening by getting your dentist to create a custom night guard which looks like a retainer and can be worn whilst you sleep to reduce grinding and eliminate damage.

Bad habits – Chewing on your fingernails, pen lids or crunching on ice are terribly bad habits for your teeth and dental implants so do everything you can to stop.