Your dentist will help you keep your mouth healthy, but the daily oral maintenance will be left for you to do at home. Here’s what you can do to make sure surgical or extraction sites remains clean and your implants, and replacement teeth last their longest.
Importance of the Dental Clinician
As with all dental surgical procedures, the qualifications, expertise and experience of the performing dentist are important to ensure the successful placement of the dental implant, and bone grafting and minimising the risk of failure. A Prosthodontist is a highly qualified dental specialist who will be able to provide you with an optimal long-term outcome.
Immediately following implant surgery, we recommend you avoid eating any hard foods that could damage your implant/s during the healing period. A soft food diet is recommended for 7 days, and particular care should be taken for up to 12 weeks after surgery. Limit yourself to healthy soft food such as yogurt, mashed vegetables, fruit smoothies, fish, mince or soup.
Some pre-existing conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes, vulnerability to gum disease, or a smoking habit can affect the health of dental implants in terms of success, complications, and longevity.
The durability of your implants will not only depend on the maintenance of your teeth, but also on your lifestyle choices as a whole. Unhealthy diet, excessive sugary products, bad chewing habits, stress or grinding, poor general health and well being and other medications you may be taking have
an impact on your dental implants. One of the main factors that can trigger problems with your dental implants is smoking. This is something your dentist may have discussed when assessing your
eligibility for implants at your initial consult. We highly recommend quiting completely!
Maintaining a Healthy Mouth
Your mouth is not mutually exclusive from the rest of your body. If you have poor systemic health and/or a poor general well-being, your dental implants can be compromised. Your body works as a complete and whole system and you should care for your mouth accordingly. If you want to maximise the health of your dental implants, make sure you stay healthy and look after yourself.
Brushing and Flossing
Just like your natural teeth, the long term health of your dental implants will depend on how well you look after them. The great thing about implants is you can care for them as you do for the rest of your teeth – with regular brushing and flossing. This cleaning will help you avoid a build-up of plaque and should be done at least twice daily. Pay special attention to areas such as the sides of your implants, as this is where food and plaque will often build up.
Make sure you include interdental brushes as part of your dental implant maintenance routine. These small brushes can be used to remove pieces of food and plaque from around the sides of your implants to reduce chances of gum disease.
Combined with regular brushing and flossing, an antimicrobial mouthwash will help you reduce and eliminate bacteria building up around your teeth and implants.
Regular Dental Visits
Commit to regular dental check-ups and hygienist appointments. This will help your dentist monitor the progress of your implants while giving your replacement teeth the professional clean and care
Listen to Your Dentist
Most importantly, listen to your dentist’s advice on how to maintain your dental implants. Whether it’s avoiding certain foods during the healing process or following a specific cleaning routine, your
dentist’s advice is imperative if you want to keep your implants for as long as possible!