Tooth loss is a common concern for adults in the United States. Millions are missing at least one tooth, and many of those are missing an entire arch or more. Thanks to advancements in the dental industry, there are several options for tooth replacement to restore the ability to eat and speak- which can ultimately improve confidence.
Rainier Ave Dental in Seattle offers a variety of dental services for the entire family- including tooth replacement. We will work with you to create a custom treatment plan that meets your personal needs and restores your smile.
Over the years, dental implants have emerged as the gold standard of tooth replacement because they look, feel, and function the most like natural teeth. Research shows that dental implants have a success rate of about 95% to 98%. However, this depends on a number of factors including cleaning and maintenance.
In this article, we’ll explain how to properly clean your dental implants to ensure that they last as long as possible.
Why is Cleaning Implants so Important?
While dental implants will not decay like natural teeth, proper cleaning is important for a variety of reasons, including:
Helps Prevent Gum Disease
Bacteria and plaque can build up along the gumline around the implant, which can lead to gum disease. Gum disease impacts the health of the tissues around the implant and can cause discomfort and aesthetic concerns.
Peri-implantitis is a condition that impacts the soft and hard tissues around the implant. if ignored, this inflammation can cause implant failure.
Ensures Fresh Breath
Neglecting oral hygiene can lead to bad breath, which can have a detrimental impact to your social interactions and your confidence.
Dental implant crowns are typically made of porcelain, which does resist stains. However, in order to maintain their appearance and avoid discoloration- and preserve their natural look, it’s important to clean them regularly.
Extending Implant Life Expectancy
Dental implants are a major investment and are designed to last a lifetime. The caveat to that is that they must be cared for properly. If they are not cared for, the risk of damage and implant failure increases.
Detailed Guide to Cleaning Dental Implants
Dental implants are fixed in place, so they don’t require a lot of special care considerations. Here’s what to keep in mind for cleaning dental implants:
Daily Oral Hygiene
Daily oral hygiene includes brushing and flossing:
Always use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a non-abrasive toothpaste to gently brush the implant crown, adjacent natural teeth, and along the gumline. This should be done at least twice daily. You might want to consider using an interdental toothbrush to clean between teeth and dental implants.
Flossing is necessary to remove plaque and food particles from between teeth and dental implants. You can use regular dental floss or implant-friendly floss, which is usually sturdier. Another option is an oral irrigator to remove bacteria and debris from hard-to-reach areas. Stick to a low-pressure setting to avoid damaging the implant or the crown. This should be done at least once daily, typically at the end of the day
When brushing, use an antibacterial mouthwash to reduce bacteria levels in your mouth, especially around the implant.
Regular Dental Check-ups
The American Dental Association recommends that patients visit the dentist every 6 months for an exam and cleaning. These visits are critical for monitoring the condition of your implants and address potential issues before they escalate.
Dental check-ups also include professional cleaning. Dental hygienists are trained in how to carefully and thoroughly clean around dental implants. Professional cleanings play a major role in maintaining the health and stability of your dental implants.
Implant-Specific Cleaning Tools
While you don’t necessarily need special tools, you may find it easier to clean around implants with them. These tools include dental implant brushes and soft picks that are designed to clean under and around the implant crown without causing damage.
Dental implants restore your ability to eat a wide variety of foods that were difficult or impossible to eat without teeth. Still, you should limit your consumption of sticky and/or sugary foods, as these can contribute to the buildup of plaque and bacteria- which can be detrimental to the health of your implants. A well-balanced diet improves oral and overall health.
Alcohol and Tobacco
Alcohol consumption and tobacco use can have a detrimental impact on your overall health and the success of your implants. Consider reducing your alcohol consumption and quitting smoking and other tobacco products to improve your oral health outcomes.
Protection During Physical Activities
If you are involved in contact sports, consider discussing the option of getting a custom-fitted mouthguard to protect your implants and remaining natural teeth from damage due to trauma.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
There are several common mistakes that patients make when it comes to cleaning and maintaining their dental implants. These could cause complications and should be avoided:
Vigorous brushing can cause damage to the implant crown and injure the surrounding gum tissue. Instead, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a gentle touch.
Ignoring Routine Dental Visits
Regular dental visits are critical for your oral health. These visits include an exam which allows the dentist to diagnose and treat issues before they escalate. These visits also include a professional cleaning, which gets into the areas that you may struggle to reach.
Flossing is no one’s favorite part of oral hygiene. However, this is not something that you can skip when you have dental implants.
Using Metal Instruments
Avoid using metal or sharp objects that could damage the surface of the implant. Instead, use implant-specific, soft tools recommended by the dentist.
Neglecting to Replace Brushes
Toothbrushes, including implant-specific brushes and tools, should be replaced regularly to maintain their effectiveness.
Rainier Ave Dental Offers Expert Dental Implant Care
Dental implants are a popular tooth replacement option among patients at Rainier Ave Dental. This solution has improved the oral health and overall quality of life for millions of adults across the USA. Implants are designed to last a lifetime but must be cared for properly.