Dental implants don't suffer from tooth decay like natural teeth do. But that doesn't mean that they won't fail if you don't keep up a high standard of oral hygiene. The main enemy of dental implants is oral bacteria, which can shorten the lifespan of your dental implant unless you clean them every day.
If you keep a good standard of oral hygiene, your new dental implants may last decades. But dental implants sometimes require you to tweak your traditional oral hygiene methods slightly. Read on to learn more.
1. Use an interproximal toothbrush
Although oral bacteria cannot damage dental implants in the same way they can natural teeth (tooth decay), they damage the supporting structures around dental implants. To keep your implants in place, your bone and gum tissue needs to be healthy and strong. If acid-producing oral bacteria damage the gum and bone tissue around a dental implant, the more likely the implants will fail.
Oral bacteria often congregate between teeth, or in the interproximal spaces. After implant placement, reaching the interproximal spaces can be difficult. So, instead of using a standard toothbrush, use an interproximal toothbrush. This will help you to remove bacteria from between your teeth and implants.
2. Use floss or an oral irrigator to clean the gumline
For a thorough clean, many dentists recommend that you floss before brushing your teeth. But flossing around a dental implant can be difficult. There often isn't enough space. So, instead of using traditional floss, consider using an oral irrigator or water flosser. This will ensure that you remove bacteria and food debris from along the gum line and from the hard to reach areas between teeth.
3. Arrange regular dental cleanings
Dental hygienists remove stains, food debris and oral bacteria from teeth and dental implants. And dental hygienists can spot potential issues with teeth and dental implants. If you visit a dental hygienist at least twice a year, you can prevent oral bacteria from taking hold in your mouth. And if a dental hygienist spots a potential problem area around an implant, they can advise you on what to do.
4. Wear a nightguard before going to bed
After your oral hygiene sessions at night, consider wearing a nightguard to bed, especially if you grind your teeth at night. The action of constantly grinding your teeth at night can damage your teeth, gum tissue and jawbone. And since the porcelain crowns of dental implants are even harder than enamel, without a nightguard, you could do considerable damage to your natural teeth.
For more information, contact dental implant services.