In the U.S., approximately 178 million people are missing at least one tooth. Dental implants are one of the best options for people with missing teeth, allowing them to regain full use of their jaw and avoid jawbone loss. Although dental implants can be long-lasting, following dental implant maintenance and care tips can help you manage your oral health better and ensure the implants function at their best.
Understanding Dental Implants
Dental implants are inserted into the jawbone to function like a tooth’s root. Made of titanium posts that hold a crown, dental implants prevent jawbone loss and allow you to continue eating the foods you love. Dental implants offer the chance to regain your chewing abilities without worrying about anything shifting around or loosening, as can occur with dentures.
Learn more about dental implants to see if they are a good option.
Post-Surgical Care for Dental Implant Maintenance and Care
After undergoing a procedure for a dental implant, following your surgeon’s post-surgical care instructions is vital to help the implant settle into place and allow your jaw to heal correctly. You want to:
- Avoid drinking from straws
- Keep tongue and fingers away from the surgical area
- Don’t smoke
- Don’t spit
- Eat soft foods
You will need to take antibiotics, pain medications, and use a prescription mouthwash as you heal, and you can apply cold compresses to the area to minimize swelling for the first 48 hours. If you experience prolonged or intense pain, contact your periodontist.
Oral Hygiene Practices
Practicing good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent infections as you heal and prolong your dental implant’s lifespan. Your periodontist will give you specific instructions for proper oral care following your implant surgery.
Diet and Lifestyle Considerations
Another crucial aspect of dental implant maintenance and care is what you eat. Although there aren’t many restrictions once you’re fully healed, you want to stick to foods that promote oral health. Avoid sugary foods and drinks as much as possible and eat fiber-rich foods to stimulate jaw movement.
Don’t eat sticky foods that can loosen the implant; avoid hard foods that can cause chips and cracks. Avoid eating popcorn or seedy foods as small pieces can get stuck between the implant and the gum and that may lead to implant failure if not treated quickly.
You also want to avoid tobacco use. It encourages bacterial growth and can lead to gum disease. Tobacco can even prevent your jawbone from fusing around the implant correctly.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by eating correctly and exercising helps your whole body function at its best, including your oral structures. Exercise can help lower overall body inflammation and boost your immune system, preventing gum disease and other oral health issues.
Regular Dental Checkups
Turning to your periodontists regularly for checkups also helps prevent oral health issues and the deterioration of dental implants. Regular yearly checkups of your implants are crucial. Your periodontist will be able to catch early signs of any problems with the implant to resolve them quickly. You also want to schedule regular professional cleanings to help prevent gum disease and so much more.
The Importance of Dental Implant Maintenance and Care
Dental implants can help you regain full use of your bite without requiring the elaborate care that dentures do. By paying attention to simple dental implant maintenance and care tips, including getting regular checkups, eating correctly, following great oral hygiene practices, and following post-surgical care instructions, you can extend the life of the implants. To learn more about dental implants and their care, turn to the professionals at Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester. Contact us today. 585-685-2005