Dental implants are often the best tooth replacement option for any given situation. They provide many benefits over full or partial dentures. However, they still have specific care requirements you’ll need to follow to make your implants last and avoid complications. The proper oral hygiene routine can protect your dental implants, and using the right tools and techniques is key.
The Right Way to Brush with Dental Implants
Many patients wonder if they can use an electric toothbrush with their dental implants. If your dental implants are healed completely, there’s no reason to be concerned about using an electric toothbrush vs. a manual brush. Dental implants undergo osseointegration, forming a solid bond with your jawbone. Vibrations from an electric toothbrush can’t affect that bond in healthy dental implants.
Once fully recovered from your dental implant surgery, an electric toothbrush is an excellent option to protect your dental implants and overall oral health. They can provide a more thorough cleaning, although you must brush for two minutes and reach every tooth surface.
With any toothbrush you choose, you should always use a soft-bristled brush to avoid any potential damage to your gums.
Flossing Around Your Implant
Following full recovery, you will be instructed to resume flossing around the implant. A special floss and a flossing technique will be shown to you. Be sure to follow your periodontist’s instructions when it comes to flossing around your implant.
Oral Hygiene After Dental Implant Surgery
One major exception to standard oral hygiene care is the healing process after your dental implant placement. During recovery, you’ll have specific requirements to prevent any disruption or complications at the implant site.
During the initial recovery, you must avoid brushing the implant site using a manual or electric toothbrush. You can still brush in other areas normally. Your periodontist will provide specific aftercare instructions, including a prescription mouthwash rinse.
Generally, the implant site can take several weeks to heal enough to resume your regular oral hygiene routine. Do not brush or floss at the implant site until you’ve gotten specific instructions from your periodontist.
The Risks of Poor Oral Hygiene
Following your periodontist’s instructions during recovery is essential, and maintaining good oral hygiene after recovery to avoid various risks and complications. Failing to care for your dental implants can lead to many oral health issues.
For example, peri-implantitis is an implant site infection by bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria cause tooth decay and gum disease, so any signs of gum disease will likely delay your dental implant placement.
If you don’t follow your oral hygiene instructions, bacteria can infect the site and infiltrate deep below the gum line. Peri-implantitis is the most common complication of dental implant placement1 and can lead to bone loss and implant failure.
Even if you have implant-supported dentures and no remaining natural teeth, you must maintain proper oral hygiene to prevent gum disease. Gum disease can lead to peri-implantitis even after initial recovery, as bacteria infiltrating below the gumline can spread to the surrounding bone.
You should also take other steps to protect your dental implants while properly brushing and flossing. Tobacco use can be harmful and contribute to gum disease. Additionally, if you grind or clench your teeth during sleep, you’ll need a mouthguard to protect your dental implants.
Caring for Your Dental Implants in Rochester, NY
At Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester, we provide the care and support you need throughout the dental implant process. We’ll carefully evaluate your unique smile to develop a treatment plan that fits your needs. You can trust us to provide the instruction and aftercare you need to stay healthy and protect your implants.
Schedule your consultation today to get started. Give us a call at 585-685-2005.