Dental implants are by far the most durable method of tooth replacement. Around 95% of them are still successful at 20 years, and many of them last a lifetime. While dentures and dental bridges can protect you for a while, dental implants outlast them by a factor of two to one.
However, that’s provided you take care of them properly. If you don’t, they may not last as long as you’d hope. With that in mind, here are a few of the “Dos” and “Don’ts” of dental implant maintenance.
DO: Brush and Floss your Dental Implants
One of the nice things about dental implants, especially when compared to other methods of tooth replacement, is that your daily hygiene doesn’t have to change. If you want to prevent bacterial buildup, you can brush and floss your dental implants just like you would your natural teeth.
DON’T: Push Down When You Floss
That said, there is one new thing you have to consider when you floss a dental implant. Your natural teeth are connected to the gums via ligaments that have nerve tissue in them. However, the dental implant is connected with an artificial seal that you won’t be able to feel, meaning that you could break it accidentally without realizing it.
For that reason, you should never push down too hard when you floss a dental implant.
DO: See Your Dentist Regularly
As with any kind of dental work, or really your teeth in general, it’s deeply important to catch oral health problems before they become serious. You can be vigilant yourself, but there’s only so much that you can do on your own.
You should see your dentist biannually so that they can make sure you aren’t dealing with any latent infections.
DON’T: Use Your Implant as a Tool
Your dental implant is strong, but only about as strong as a natural tooth (if that). It doesn’t give you superpowers, and you shouldn’t try to do anything with it you normally wouldn’t.
Opening bottles, gnawing open packages, and chewing up ice are all bad ideas for your teeth, and they’re just as bad for your dental implant. If you want yours to stick around, you should use them as intended.
About the Author
Dr. Lindsey Hammond is a native of Tulsa, and she massively appreciates the opportunity to help the people in her community to smile every day. If you’re looking for someone to help you get your smile back in shape, she and her dental team are happy to assist you. Dr. Hammond received her dental degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry. She is a member of the American Dental Association and the American Academy of General Dentistry.
If you have any questions about dental implants, she can be reached at our website or by phone at (918) 254-8686.