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Maintaining your implant-supported tooth replacements is critical in order to keep their look and functionality. If you fail to clean and care for your implants, you increase your risk of developing peri-implantitis. It is a site-specific inflammatory condition that affects the soft and hard tissues that surround your implants. If left untreated, this infectious disease can lead to bone loss and affect the implants.
Cleaning your dental implants is just as vital as cleaning natural teeth. Remember that both depend on the healthy surrounding tissues for support. Plaque can collect on your implant crowns just like on natural teeth. That’s why you have to remove them every day. Here’s how you can maintain your dental implants at home:
Single Implants. For single-tooth dental implants, you have to clean your teeth at least twice a day. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and low-abrasive toothpaste. For hard-to-reach implants, use a nylon-coated interdental brush with a slim head to clean them. Also, use a water flosser or an oral irrigator recommended by your dental hygienist. This device can disrupt and get rid of bacteria in pockets measuring up to six-millimeter deep. To avoid blowing away the fluoride toothpaste, use this dental water jet first. Also, use crown and bridge floss. These are specially designed to scrub under and around your dental implants gently.
All-On-4 Implants. The steps in caring for full-arch fixed implants are similar to those for cleaning single implants. There are a few considerations to bear in mind, such as the use of a sulcus brush, which is effective at cleaning the part of the bridge that transitions to soft tissue. Food debris can be easily trapped between the base of the bridge and gumline of your All-on-4 implants, which can further increase your risk of infection. Do not forget to use a rubber-tip stimulator to remove food particles gently. Most water flossers come with this attachment. Use this at least once a day, while sticking to low or medium settings only. Sometimes, the high setting can separate the tissue from your implants.
Your dental implants cannot decay. However, your gum and bone tissues can be prone to decay and infection if not taken care of. Here are some extra tips to help you prolong the life span of your implants:
Visit your dentist for regular checkups and deep cleaning.
Steer clear of abrasive cleaning ingredients, such as stiff brushes, baking soda, or strong oral cleansers, since they can permanently damage your teeth.
Avoid chewing on ice cubes, hard candies, and other hard items as they can damage your crowns.
Quit smoking. It will not only stain your crowns, but smoking can also inflame and weaken your gums.
Despite the atypical cleaning requirements, dental implants are a very effective orthodontic procedure. As a matter of fact, research has shown profound, long-term success rates of about 95 percent. Cleaning your implants and their related components are paramount to keeping them healthy and functional.
Do you want to know more about how you can better care for your dental implants? At Implant Dentistry Periodontics & Facial Rejuvenation, we focus on providing a wide range of affordable dental services to keep that healthy, lovely smile. Call our clinic in Tampa or Wesley Chapel, Florida, today, for more information.