Adherence to oral hygiene recommendations not only promotes healing after the surgical procedure as we explained in our previous article of our series, but it is also the key to the long-term success of dental implants. While it is true to say that the success rate of dental implants is quite high – approximately 99,1% -, it is important to underline that it is the healthy surrounding tissue that protects the dental implant from failing.
Taking good care of the dental implant supported tooth replacements is therefore just as necessary as cleaning your natural teeth on a daily basis.
Why you should take care of your dental implants
Before explaining the daily oral maintenance routine in detail, it is vital to clarify what may happen when lacking the process regularly.
Plaque may build up around the dental implant supported porcelain crown or zirconia crown just as it does on natural teeth so it is no wonder that it should be removed in order to protect the gum. This plaque may cause serious inflammation around the dental implant when reaching the tissue under the gum line, resulting in severe bone loss and the failure of the affected dental implant eventually.
Daily maintenance of dental implants
To be able to avoid these consequences, here is a brief TO DO list for the daily maintenance of dental implants:
Try to keep a relatively healthy diet
Following the dental implant surgery you may want to save the dinner celebration for later but you don’t need to keep the soft food diet longer than approximately a week. Proper nourishment helps you feel a whole lot better and not to mention that by gaining strength you may also heal faster.
Avoid or even quit smoking in the long run
It is no wonder that smokers are at greater risk of infection following the oral surgery, but you may also want to consider that smoking can adversely affect wound healing as well. This may lead to a longer healing period and even endanger the success of bone grafting or the placement of the dental implant.
Use antibacterial mouthwash
It is important not only for a fresh breath but to help you get rid of potentially harmful bacteria and keep the gum line that reaches the dental implant clear, where brushing and flossing does not reach. However, please note that mouthwashes do not replace thorough daily brushing and flossing.
Brush your teeth twice a day
In order to be gentle and effective at the same time, try to choose a tooth brush with soft bristles and a tooth paste containing fluoride. While it is true to say that dental crowns – no matter what material they are made of – may not be exposed to cavities, it is highly recommended not to skip the morning and the evening brushing, since food debris may stuck around the dental implant and by time it may become harder and harder to get rid of it. Cleaning all surfaces in the mouth – including the crown and the gum – may help your dental implants last longer.
Floss your teeth once a day
Daily flossing removes bacteria that generally cause the inflammation of the gum and therefore helps you take care of the dental implant site. If the inflammation of the gum reaches the dental implant, peri-implantitis may occur and seriously endanger the integration of the dental implant in the jawbone. To avoid such a consequence, you may find a whole variety of dental flosses from thick to thin or from flavoured to waxed. Make sure you ask your dentist which one is the most suitable solution for your type of tooth replacement.
Visit your dentist on a regular basis
Annual visits are not only necessary to make sure that your dental implants and the surrounding gum remain healthy, but a visit combined with an X-ray also ensures that the porcelain or Zirconium crowns fit and function properly.
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