Implant Care and Maintenance
After having dental implant treatment, it is very important to remember and appreciate that dental implants require care and maintenance in order for them to be successful. Implants are not the same as teeth, and therefore need to be cared for well to ensure long term success.
Dental implant aftercare
Keep your teeth and implants very clean
Brushing twice a day and cleaning in between your teeth at least once a day is a must. If food debris is left in between your teeth after a meal and not cleaned thoroughly, this can lead to inflammation of the tissues around your teeth and implants and potentially compromise their long term health.
Keep Up with Your Dental check-ups
Visiting your dentist every 6 months is very important to ensure your teeth and implants are checked regularly. Your dentist can assess the integrity of your implant restorations and identify any potential issues and address them. Your dentist may also advise regular hygienist visits to reduce your plaque levels and maintain the health of your teeth and implants. The dentist will assess the health of the gum that immediately surrounds the implant and ensure it is healthy but can also identify any signs of inflammation or infection.
Use only recommended toothbrushes and other dental products.
Soft-bristled toothbrushes are fine for brushing around your implant, although electric and sonic toothbrushes also work well. It is also important to choose the correct toothpaste which ideally should have low abrasive compounds. Toothpastes that contain stannous fluoride, baking soda and stain removers should be avoided as the abrasive nature of these toothpastes can scratch and damage the exposed surfaces of the implant. Smoker’s toothpaste should be avoided due to its abrasive nature.
Protect the tissue around the dental implant with an appropriate interdental cleaner.
There are dental cleaning products specifically for implants. Oral irrigators (water-flossers), unwaxed dental tape or TePe interdental brushes are recommended. Oral irrigators are highly recommended for the prevention of inflammation and the reduction of biofilm or plaque that may have formed on the exposed surface of the implant. It is not sufficient to just brush your implant with a regular toothbrush, and interdental cleaning is a more efficient and effective way of cleaning and protecting the tissues that surround the implant.