What NOT to Do With Dental Implants

Dental implants give you a chance to restore missing teeth and fill in gaps in your smile. They're one of the most reliable forms of restoration for your teeth, but they still require care to stay healthy. Many patients who inquire about filling gaps are concerned that the implants will require special cleaning or care out of the usual. However, it's generally as easy to take care of your implants as your natural teeth with brushing and flossing. The key is avoiding behaviors that could damage your dental implants. Take good care of these dental devices whether you have a single implant or All-on-Four implant-supported dentures with these tips on what not to do.

Don't Rush After Bone Grafting

You may be eager to get your dental implants placed, but you'll need plenty of time to heal from any bone grafting and gum grafting deemed necessary by the dentist. Gum grafts heal in as little as two weeks to a month, while bone grafting may need up to 9 months to fully heal. Don't try to find dental implants near mefrom other dentists in order to get them faster by avoiding the waiting period. If your current dentist has set up an appointment for months from now so you can heal, try to be patient and wait to ensure the implant has the best chance of successfully integrating with the bone.

Avoid Eating Very Hard and Crunchy Foods

While dental implants stay in place without moving far better than dentures, they can't handle chewing every food you enjoy. The posts will last longer and stay attached to the jaw bone if you limit your snacking on hard nuts, unpopped popcorn kernels, ice, tortilla chips, beef jerky, and similar foods. Watch out for anything super sticky or chewy that might get wrapped around the implant and become hard to remove as well. You can still enjoy crunchy and sticky foods on occasion, but try to chew them with the part of your jaw that doesn't include implants. Skip them for the first six months after placement surgery at least. If you're using a set of All-on-Four dentures, try to find softer snacks because the dentures themselves can be damaged by crunching. Skip the spicy and acidic foods right after the dental implant surgery since they can irritate the gum tissue around the post.

Stop Smoking

If you've been smoking for years or decades, it may seem impossible to quit. Yet finding a smoking cessation solution that works for you is the best way to protect your new dental implants. Smoking dries out your mouth and damages your gum tissue, increasing the chances of rejection at any point after the placement surgery. Many patients temporarily stop smoking with nicotine patches or gum immediately after the dental implant surgery and then return to smoking later after they heal. This still leads to complications and damage around the implant that has long-term negative effects. Putting an end to your smoking or vaping habit is the best way to protect your implants for life.

Wait to Use Your Electric Toothbrush

Electric toothbrushes and vibrating water picks help you get your teeth as clean as possible without missing any spots. Unfortunately, they can also be a little irritating to the gum tissue after you've had an implant placed. Your dentist can tell you when you are healed enough to resume using your favorite electric toothbrush or similar device. They may also recommend that you switch to a brush head with softer bristles to avoid irritation around the base of the implant. Your dentist's recommendations for brushing and flossing will help you avoid gum disease and rejection from the dental implant for the rest of your life.

Take Care Right After Surgery

When the dental implant is newly placed, it needs a little more care than after your gums heal and the post fully integrates with the bone tissue. Avoid sucking on straws or smoking since the pressure in your mouth can disturb the blood clot which helps speed the healing process. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water a few times a day and only eat soft and non-acidic foods that won't irritate your gums. Skip dairy foods since they can carry bacteria that can enter the bloodstream through the opening in your gum tissue. Mashed potatoes, soups, and soft breads work well. You can also enjoy well-cooked proteins like eggs, chicken, and fish without a lot of irritating seasonings. Taking extra care for the first six months to avoid hard foods and habits that might put pressure on the dental implant will it.

Before you invest in dental implants in Columbus, schedule a consultation with our team to determine if they're a good fit for you. We're happy to help you find the best way to restore your smile here at Oral Implant and Reconstructive Dentistry.

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