Dental implants are an excellent solution for those who have lost one or more teeth, providing a permanent and natural-looking replacement. However, dental implant care is crucial for maintaining the health of your implants and ensuring they last a lifetime. Unfortunately, many people make mistakes when caring for their dental implants that can lead to complications and even implant failure. Here are five common mistakes to avoid when caring for your dental implants.
- Neglecting Regular Dental Checkups
Regular dental checkups are essential for maintaining the health of your dental implants. During these visits, your dentist will examine the condition of your mouth and check on the status of your implants. X-rays may be taken to ensure that the bone is still securely holding onto the implant. By neglecting regular checkups, you’re putting yourself at risk of missing early signs of complications such as loosening or infection which could lead to more serious issues down the line.
- Not Brushing and Flossing Properly
While brushing and flossing twice daily is recommended for everyone, it’s especially important when you have dental implants. Food particles can get trapped around the implant site which could cause inflammation or infection in surrounding tissue leading to peri-implantitis (inflammation around the implant). When brushing near your implant site use soft-bristled toothbrushes and fluoride toothpaste twice daily but be gentle so as not to damage delicate tissues surrounding the area. Floss at least once daily using a floss threader or interdental brush designed specifically for cleaning around your dental implant.
- Using Abrasive Toothpaste
You might think that abrasive toothpaste is better because it will help remove surface stains from both natural teeth and implants but this isn’t true because abrasive toothpaste can leave scratches on crowns or abutments resulting in bacterial buildup leading to gum disease or peri-implantitis. Instead, opt for fluoridated toothpaste with low abrasion levels since it’s gentle enough not to scratch surfaces while still being effective in removing plaque buildup.
- Chewing on Hard Foods
Dental implants are strong but still susceptible to damage from excessive pressure like chewing hard foods such as ice cubes, nuts, or popcorn kernels which can cause fractures in both natural teeth and implanted ones causing pain or discomfort. To avoid damaging your dental implants while eating stick with softer foods that won’t put excessive pressure on them like cooked vegetables or fruits like bananas.
Smoking has been found to increase risks associated with gum disease which leads to peri-implantitis – inflammation around an implant causing bleeding gums spreading bacteria throughout oral tissues damaging bone structure anchoring an implant making it loose eventually falling out completely if left untreated over time. If you smoke already talk with a healthcare professional about quitting before getting any kind of surgery including dental procedures involving placing dental implants since smoking after surgery increases risks associated with developing infections around implanted areas making healing difficult.
Avoiding these five common mistakes when caring for your dental implants will help maintain their health and longevity ensuring they last a lifetime.