If you’re missing a tooth, the best way by far to replace it is with a dental implant. Implants are the only solution to tooth loss that replicate the entire structure of the tooth, not just the visible crown. Because of this, they prevent bone loss associated with missing teeth. Not only that, but they can last for 30 years, possibly even the rest of your life if you take care of them. Here are five tips for making your dental implants last as long as possible.
1. Thoroughly Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day
Did you know that there are special toothbrushes designed to clean dental implants? These brushes come highly recommended by your implant dentist, since they can reach areas that other brushes simply cannot. Brush for two minutes every morning and every evening to clean out plaque that could cause gum disease or cavities in your remaining teeth.
2. Floss At Least Once Daily
Flossing is the only way to remove food particles from between your teeth that could attract harmful bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. If you can floss after every meal, that’s even better.
3. Avoid Chewing Hard or Sticky Foods with Your Implant
Eating these foods could cause breakage of the implant. The implant crown could also become dislodged, resulting in your having to make an emergency dental appointment. Examples of hard and sticky foods to stay away from include dried fruit, gummies, caramel, peanuts, and hard candy.
4. Abstain from Smoking or Drinking Too Much Alcohol
Smoking hinders the oral healing process that is crucial to your implant successfully integrating with your jawbone. It can also weaken your jawbone structure, causing your body to ultimately reject the implant. Although there’s nothing wrong with enjoying an alcoholic beverage every once in a while, drinking too much can lead to dry mouth, which increases your risk of cavities.
5. See Your Dentist Regularly
By visiting your implant dentist every six months, they can make sure your implant is functioning as it should be. If there are any problems, like infection in the gum tissue surrounding your implant, your dentist can diagnose that early before the problem has progressed. You can also ask your dentist any questions you might have about how to take care of your implant.
To make sure your dental implants last as long as possible, you’re going to want to follow these tips to a T. If you have any further questions about implant care, be sure to contact your dentist.
About the Author
Dr. Megan Shelton obtained her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry. Since then, she has earned certifications in several advanced treatments, like the ability to place dental implants herself. For more advice on making your dental implants last, you can contact Dr. Shelton’s Carlsbad, CA practice at (760) 434-9800.