How to Take Care of Your Dental Implants
If you have dental implants or are thinking about getting dental implants, know that it’s just as important to take good care of them as it is to take care of natural teeth. The good news is that a routine for dental implant care is very similar to regular hygiene maintenance. There's a period of adjustment once you get the implants and while you recover from the surgery, but, after that, implant care is fairly simple.
Implant Surgery Aftercare
When you have surgery to place your dental implants, there’s a period of recovery during which you’ll have to avoid certain foods and take certain precautions to reduce pain and swelling. For instance:
• You’ll need to avoid eating until the anesthetic wears off, and then avoid hot food and drinks for the first day or two. It’s also best to stick to soft foods for the first week.
• Swelling can be treated with an ice pack applied for 10-minute periods of time, with a break of 20 minutes between applications.
• Your dentist may provide you with a prescription for painkillers, but if not then over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help with pain.
• Once you start to eat, focus on keeping your mouth as clean as possible. Eat carefully, and try to avoid letting food and beverages near the surgical placement sites when you eat.
• Be sure to follow any other instructions your dentist recommends.
Ongoing Implant and Restoration Care
Once you’ve healed from the surgery and have your restorations placed, taking care of your implants is mostly about maintaining a good oral care routine.
For best results, brush twice a day using a low-abrasive toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush. This is important to prevent your new restorations from abrasive toothpaste that might cause scratching or wearing away of the restorations over time.
Floss with dental tape or a water irrigation unit at least once a day. Plastic and metal picks should be avoided, as these can scratch the surface of restorations.
Finally, remember that restorations can’t be whitened in the same way as natural teeth can. To keep your implants white and bright, it’s important to avoid foods and beverages that can stain the restorations and to avoid smoking.