Tooth loss is a prominent issue affecting people of all ages. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7 percent of people in the U.S. have lost one or more permanent teeth to decay by the age of 17. By age 50, the average American has lost 12 teeth.
When teeth are lost due to trauma, gum disease, tooth decay, bruxism, or a range of other dental issues, a person may experience some frustrating issues. Trouble with talking, chewing, chronic headaches, and an increased risk of oral infection can all be effects from a missing tooth. Dental implants are one of the best options for replacing missing teeth as they best mimic the look, feel, and function of natural teeth.
Caring for dental implants is similar to caring for your natural teeth. However, there are certain differences. With proper at-home care, along with professional oral health services rendered by an experienced dentist at Vero Implants and Periodontics, you can maintain a beautiful and healthy smile.
Follow Aftercare Instructions
Dental implant care begins soon after leaving the dentist office. Your Melbourne and Vero beach, Fl dental practice will provide a list of instructions to help ensure a fast and safe recovery. It is common to have some mild discomfort and swelling in the initial 24 hours after the procedure. This is normal and not generally a cause for alarm. Take any prescribed medications from your dentist and hold an ice pack to your face in 15-minute intervals. Only consume soft foods and beverages for the first 24 hours.
Brush Twice Daily With a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush
Once you have dental implants, you’ll want to make the switch to sensitive dental products. Avoid abrasive toothpastes that may cause discomfort, as well as oral hygiene products with strong flavors like cinnamon. You may also need to replace your current toothbrush with a soft-bristled alternative. Toothbrushes with hard bristles can scratch the implants and irritate the healing gums.
Floss Once Daily
Along with brushing, flossing helps to remove stubborn plaque that can build up on the teeth. Although dental implants do not decay, they can develop plaque that can irritate the surrounding gum tissue. If plaque is not regularly removed, gingivitis can develop and eventually advance into periodontitis. Flossing is just as important with dental implants as natural teeth as food and debris can accumulate around the crown. Floss at least once per day using traditional floss or floss made exclusively for cleaning implants.
Prevent Gum Disease
Your gums play an important role in helping to stabilize the dental implant and prevent the failure of the artificial tooth root. However, poor gum care can result in gum disease. Gum disease causes uncomfortable symptoms like red, tender, inflamed, and swollen gums that are prone to bleeding. Keep your gums healthy by flossing at least once a day, undergoing regular dental cleanings, brushing twice a day, and using fluoride toothpaste. If you haven’t already, add a mouthwash to your daily oral health routine. Avoid bad habits that have been associated with the onset of gum disease, such as smoking.
Protect Your Dental Implants From Night Grinding
Bruxism is the name given to a condition in which you clench, gnash, or grind your teeth. This action is usually done unconsciously, often when a person is asleep. Having dental implants with untreated bruxism increases the risk of dental implant failure. If you have a known case of bruxism, talk to your dentist about the best way to protect your implants. A custom mouthguard or dental splint may need to be worn at night to reduce the pressure on the implants and ensure that the jaw remains in the proper position.
Schedule Professional Cleanings
While good oral hygiene begins at home, your dentist will be able to assist in the maintenance of your dental implants and any remaining natural teeth. Visit your dentist at least every six months for routine cleanings and to check the condition of the implants. A periodic deep cleaning of the dental implant can help remove any built-up plaque on or around the implant and surrounding tissues.
Request an Appointment at Vero VIP
Interested in learning more about dental implant care? Reach out to a member of our knowledgeable dental team at Vero VIP Implants & Periodontics. We have convenient offices located in Melbourne and Vero Beach, Florida.