Dental Implant Aftercare – Newtown, PA
Making Sure Your New Teeth Last for Years
One of the biggest advantages of dental implants over other kinds of dental restorations is that they can last for decades at a time. While crowns and bridges need to be replaced every 5 to 15 years, an implant can easily last 20 or 30 years – even a lifetime in some cases! Of course, for that to happen, you’ll need to practice good dental implant aftercare. Luckily, many of the same practices that help protect your natural teeth can also protect your new ones.
Make Oral Hygiene a Priority
You won’t have to worry about cavities with implant-supported teeth, but that doesn’t mean that oral hygiene isn’t still important. The gums at the implant site can still become infected by the plaque-forming bacteria in your mouth. This condition (called peri-implantitis) can eventually destroy the bone supporting the implant, causing it to fail.
To avoid such infections, keep brushing your teeth at least twice and flossing at least once every day. It’s best to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste so you won’t damage the prosthetic tooth or teeth. If the implant is in a spot where you’re having trouble flossing, you can use a water flosser or an interdental brush instead; these tools do the same job as traditional dental floss but are easier to handle for many people.
Also, if it’s not already part of your routine, you should start rinsing with mouthwash; this is a reliable way to kill a lot of bacteria.
Protect Your Dental Implants
If you suffer some sort of physical trauma to the mouth and it damages your implant, it might need to be removed. If you play football or another contact sport, the risk of this happening is especially high. For this reason, you should get an athletic mouthguard for any sort of physical activity.
Grinding and clenching your teeth can also have a negative effect on your implants. You can control these habits during the day, but for many patients, it might happen involuntarily at night (which is a condition known as bruxism). A nightguard can protect your implant and, as a bonus, will also prevent the jaw pain and worn-down enamel that often comes with teeth grinding.
Finally, be aware of how you’re using your dental implant day-to-day. Crunching ice, opening packages with your teeth, and biting down on overly hard foods like peppermints and nuts can easily result in damage.
Schedule Regular Recall Visits
Of course, a good oral healthcare routine should always include regular appointments with The Dentists of Newtown! In addition to the checkups and cleanings you would normally get, we’ll also make sure your implants are still working properly. We’ll check for signs of bone loss and looseness; the earlier we find potential problems, the easier they’ll be to treat. It’s normally recommended that you visit the dentist at least two times a year, or every six months. If it’s been a while since your last visit, contact us today!