The difference to life before and after getting dental implants is like night and day; finally, you’ll be able to eat whatever you want again and smile without hesitation! But how long will they last? Dental implants in Owasso often have a lifespan of three decades or even longer – but that’s only if you take good care of them. If you want to keep your new teeth, you can start by following these 5 simple maintenance tips.
1. Brush as Thoroughly as Possible
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and scrub the surface of the restoration gently; otherwise you might damage it on accident. Some brushes are specially designed for implant patients so that they can clean the hard-to-reach areas more effectively. It’s generally recommended to brush for 2 to 3 minutes at a time in order to get rid of as much plaque as possible.
2. Remember to Floss
Plaque or food that gets stuck between the teeth can be hard to remove and could cause a gum infection if left alone. That’s why most dentists say that you should floss daily to clean surfaces that a toothbrush won’t reach. For arthritic patients (or those that simply have trouble using string floss), a water flosser is a good alternative. It can be easier to manipulate than string floss and yet does the same job just as effectively.
3. Be Careful Around Sticky or Hard Foods
While dental implants don’t come with any diet restrictions, there are certain foods that you should be careful around. Crunching on hard foods like ice or popcorn kernels could put undue pressure on the implant posts, damaging them. Also, while chewing on some sticky candy like gum or caramel is okay every once in a while, indulging in them too often will wear your implants down. Always be very aware of what you’re chewing with your restoration.
4. Don’t Smoke or Drink After Implant Surgery
Tobacco and alcohol have plenty of detrimental effects on your health, and one of them is to slow down the mouth’s ability to heal from a wound. You should avoid smoking and drinking for a while after the surgery. In fact, it’d probably be best to give up cigarettes altogether; even after your mouth heals, exposure to tobacco can put you at risk for gum disease that could threaten your implants.
5. See Your Dentist
You should have at least two dental appointments a year. These visits are a good opportunity for the dentist in Owasso to make sure that your implants are still secure and that the surrounding gum tissue is healthy. If you notice swelling, pain, looseness or other signs of implant trouble, you should call the practice immediately.
If you follow these tips, not only will you protect your dental implants for years to come, but you’ll also help make sure that the rest of your smile stays healthy as well!
About the Author
Dr. Jayson Voto has been practicing dentistry for 12 years and loves how it lets him build relationships with his patients while working on his own. If you lose a tooth, he can replace it with a highly durable dental implant that’s as comfortable as it is natural-looking. To schedule an implant consultation or checkup at his practice in Owasso, visit his website or call (918) 973-6120.