A dental implant is a serious procedure, and as such it requires quite a bit of care following surgery. There are the obvious things that you need to do like drinking cold beverages, eating soft foods, and abstaining from strenuous activity until the site is healed.
The simplest way to clean the dental implant is to have it cleaned by a professional. A dentist will take care in cleaning around the implant threads, the tissue surrounding the site, and your non-artificial teeth. In addition, it helps to have a professional looking at the dental implant to see if there is anything of note they should be aware of.
The cleanings are likely to be more frequent immediately following the procedure, and then two or three times a year like a traditional cleaning. However, if you are interested in preventing food from getting stuck in your dental implants and want to take care of it at home, then there are a number of things you can do.
Regular Oral Hygiene
The simples place to start for at-home cleanings would be to brush, floss, and use a non-alcoholic mouthwash like you would normally. Food particles and bacteria are going to grow if you do not regularly clean your teeth, but if you fail to clean your dental implant, then complications could ensure. Realize that food is going to get stuck around the implant site, so it is important to clean regularly to avoid problems post-surgery.
While you might think that you need to up your toothbrush game, the reality is that there are only minor differences between a manual toothbrush and an electric toothbrush. What is most important when selecting a toothbrush is how it feels in your mouth. The only thing to be certain of is to use a soft-bristled toothbrush on the implant site.
Flossing, in many ways, is the most important part of the oral hygiene regiment. And if you have spent any time looking for floss at a supermarket, then you realize there are a lot of options to choose from. Selecting the right one comes down to how it feels. If the floss you selected makes your mouth hurt, and more importantly the dental implant site, then you need to reconsider your selection. Often, a dentist will recommend un-waxed tape or floss for someone with dental implants because of its relative gentle nature.
Oral Irrigators (or Water Flossers)
Water flossers, or water picks, are oral irrigators. This is a fancy way of saying that the device cleans by shooting a stream of water that can aimed wherever you would like in your mouth. It is especially useful for getting behind teeth and addressing the gum line. Since it is a stream of water, it can assist in removing food particulates and plaque between teeth. Obviously, an oral irrigator needs a water source and a power source, so it is not as portable as traditional floss. However, it is very gentle and simple to use. It’s important to note that you should not use a water flosser in lieu of regular brushing and flossing. This is meant only
as a supplementary measure for those with a dental implant or who are struggling to reach difficult places around dental implants.
While this might sound like some kind of technological marvel, a gum stimulator is available at your local CVS. It has a metal handle and a silicone (or rubber) tip that is used to stimulate the gums. They might not seem like obvious solution, but they can really help with removing plaque along the gum line. As well, they can clean between teeth and are useful for dental implant sites. Though, again, always be wary of how you feel using the tool.
Regularly clean and maintain your dental implants
Getting dental implant surgery can drastically improve your oral health, so it is important to take care of it. Preventing food and other bacteria-causing agents from getting into the site is important, so be sure to continue to brush and floss daily, schedule dentist appointments regularly, and consider investing in a water flosser or a gum stimulator. Take heed and develop a maintenance and cleaning habit for your dental implant.