Brush, floss, gargle and rinse. That is what we would normally do in our daily teeth cleaning routine. Fairly simple enough. But what happens when you’ve got dental implants?
Although we may do our best to take good care of our teeth, sometimes things happen, and you might need to have an implant or two put in. An implant is not the end of the world, though. In fact, in many cases, the implant is the best solution for the dental condition you have.
A dental implant is a surgical component that connects with the jaw or skull bone to support a dental prosthesis. This prosthesis could include a crown, bridge, denture, or facial prosthesis. The dental implants could also function as an orthodontic anchor.
The implant screw itself can last a lifetime if you take really good care of it and clean it regularly (including flossing). This is, of course, providing that the patient has regular dental check-ups every six months. On the other hand, a crown normally lasts approximately 10 to 15 years before being replaced due to wear and tear.
Looking after your implants is like looking after your regular set of teeth, with maybe a few extra steps here and there. Here is a detailed guide on how to clean dental implants properly:
Brush your dental implants twice a day
Brushing your teeth is a crucial part of how to clean dental implants. It is the most basic step in your regular teeth cleaning routine anyway. So, the good news is, there’s nothing extra that needs to be done on your part except to regularly keep up with your good brushing habits.
Brushing at least twice a day is good for your implants. Brushing your teeth after waking up reduces morning breath and removes any germs that might have accumulated in your mouth overnight. Before bedtime, brushing removes germs accumulated throughout the day and minimizes the likelihood of plaque formation and deterioration overnight.
Clean dental implants with a soft-bristled toothbrush
If you have implants (or even if you have sensitive teeth), soft-bristled toothbrushes are going to be your best friend. That is because the soft bristles are less likely to hurt your gums or cause bleeding. Even better is that they are just as efficient at eliminating tartar and plaque as medium or hard bristles.
If you want to take your cleaning regiment a step further, go with electric toothbrushes. Electric toothbrushes might be better because they can create more brush strokes than the human hand. Electric toothbrushes have proven that they can effectively disrupt and remove microorganisms from teeth more efficiently than manual toothbrushes.
Clean with a water flosser
Try a water flosser if you want that extra cleaning step for your dental implants. A water flosser, an oral irrigator, or a dental water jet disturbs and removes microorganisms in pockets as deep as 6 mm.
Many water flossers have rubber-tip stimulators and other attachments. These attachments are meant to soothe sensitive gums and clean hard-to-reach places between teeth. This makes it a useful tool to have handy when preserving your dental implants’ lifespan.
Many dentists prefer water flossers to dental floss because some floss brands effectively remove all those little particles that contribute to peri-implantitis. Crowns and bridge flosses are created specifically to clean beneath and around dental implants, making them more effective. They contain two firm nylon ends and a fuzzy center that cleans the dental implant surface.
Clean with a gentle toothpaste
When you’ve got dental implants (or sensitive teeth in general), your best bet is to go with a toothpaste that does not contain abrasive substances. Abrasive substances here include baking soda or stain removers since they can wear down acrylic and remove the glaze on porcelain implants.
Instead, toothpaste designed exclusively for dental implants is what you want to look for. See your dentist for toothpaste recommendations if you’re unsure what to go with.
Don’t chew on snacks
Do you enjoy the occasional crunchy snack or two? Don’t we all. Crunchy snacks can be yummy, but when you’ve got dental implants to think about, there’s some caution that needs to be exercised. Hard food items such as ice cubes, hard candies, nuts or more might shatter your crowns or harm your dentures.
Go to dental cleaning appointments
Regular dental examinations and scheduled professional teeth cleaning sessions can help your dentist ensure that your dental implants are in good working order and maintain good oral health.