Now that you’ve received your dental implants and got a brand new shiny smile of your dreams. You wonder what you need to do to keep this appealing smile with you forever. Guess what, you’ve come to the right place! This particular read from Sydney Dental will cover dental implant maintenance – what you should and should not do following the treatment to keep your new teeth in good condition.

dental implant maintenance

Failure to take care of your implants can result in high risk of developing oral diseases and implant complications, like an implant failure where the metal post is not properly fused with the jawbone. When that happens, you will need to have your dental implants replaced. No one would want to undergo the time-consuming surgery and healing process all over again, right? Let Sydney guide you on how to steer clear of that disaster with thorough care for your dental implants. 

dental implant

1. Oral hygiene

1.1. Brushing

It is common sense that everyone needs to brush their teeth twice a day to maintain their natural teeth. Considering dental implants are like original teeth, good care also includes brushing twice per day. You should use a soft-bristled brush and brush continuously for 2 minutes with a good-quality fluoride toothpaste.

1.2. Flossing

Another essential part of good oral hygiene is flossing everyday. Flossing with a dental floss helps remove the residue and bacteria from your teeth as well as gums.

1.3. Rinsing

An oral rinse, or mouthwash, is also a great plus to your routine oral care. Rinsing your mouth not only cleans up any leftover food particles and kills bacteria but also prevents bad breath. It is best that you rinse twice a day along with brushing and flossing teeth. Swish the rinse for around 30 seconds then spit it out. Keep in mind not to swallow the mouthwash as it is not designed for digestion.

2. No smoking 

Several other things can help keep your dental implants long-lasting and problem-free. One of them is to refrain from smoking, chewing tobacco, or any products containing nicotine. Let’s face it – smoking is bad for everything and everyone and dental implants are not an exception. The heat, nicotine, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen cyanide may impair your healing process after the surgery. Therefore, smoking may adversely affect the overall surgery success rate and increase the chance of complications.

The rate of a failed implant differs, depending on the number of cigarettes the person smokes. Heavy smokers who consume 30-40 cigarettes per day are more subject to an implant failure than light smokers who have less than 14 cigarettes daily. After the implants, you have to stay away from cigarettes for 2-3 months to ensure a smooth osseointegration (the process of implants getting fused into your body) and lowered risk of dangerous complications. 

If you have cigarettes during this period, the smoke inhaled may disrupt the blood clotting process. As the clots get loose, food particles and bacteria may creep into the surgical site and cause infection. This might also result in a condition called dry socket, which leads to severe pain and hinder your recovery. Other complications like gum inflammation can also occur. As the tissue is sensitive after surgery, any triggers like cigarette smoke can make it worse. If you feel like things are getting out of hand, be sure to seek medical help.

Vaping, or e-cigarettes are an increasingly popular alternative to traditional cigarettes. As people e-smoke, the smoke doesn’t enter their mouth – the liquid is vaporized by a heating unit in the vape. However, this does not mean that vaping is safe after a dental implant. Like nicotine gum and tobacco chewables, the vapor from e-cigarette still contains nicotine and other chemicals that hurt the healing process. Nicotine can irritate your mouth and hinder the blood flow in the implant site. That is why it is wise for you to completely avoid e-cigarettes over the course of your post-surgery healing.

dental implant maintenance
dental implant maintenance

3. Periodic dental visits

The last but not least important step in your care for dental implants is attending routine dental checkups every six months. 

At your appointment, the dental care provider will give you a thorough oral examination. They will check the state of your teeth as well as gums for any changes or problems, such as gum tenderness, sensitivity, tooth looseness, or dental misalignment. If there are any concerns or conditions detected, the dental provider will address or treat it in a timely manner. They will also take a close look at the components of your dental implants to make sure that they are in good conditions and not malfunctioning.

4. Post-implant diet

4.1. What to eat

The gums and teeth are more vulnerable and hence susceptible to damage shortly after the implant procedure. The dentist will likely ask that you stick to liquids and soft foods for the first week post-surgery.

The dentist may provide you with a diet plan for your healing process. If that is not the case, you can totally craft one for yourself. You should totally include foods and beverages rich in vitamins to promote your recovery. These include the following:

  • Cold soups;
  • Non-dairy shakes;
  • Corn flakes;
  • Mashed potatoes;
  • Meat puree;
  • Bananas;
  • Omelets;
  • Scrambled eggs;
  • Muffins;
  • Coffee;
  • Soft fruits;
  • Apple sauce;
  • Jell O.

4.2. What not to have

Now that you are aware of what to have after dental implants, let’s get to what you should stay away from to prevent disruption in your healing process.

Chewables

The first week following the procedure is the most sensitive time and you should be really careful with your surgical site. Therefore, avoiding foods that require you to chew is the best way to allow your gums to heal. Let the implants fuse with your body before you put any force on them.

Your go-to choices at this time are soft and liquid foods such as smoothies and soups for a week or two. Try to put away the crunchies for the meantime.

Hot foods

You should stay away from hot foods following the dental implant procedure as high temperatures make the fixtures more fragile and slows down the clotting process that is the gateway to healing. Such foods also lead to soreness, pain, and irritations to the surgical site. It is better for you to go with warm foods that have cooled down after some time of heating.

Drinking with straws

Liquids should be good for your recovery. However, try to not use straws to drink liquids as any slight force to the gums will result in bruising to the fresh surgical wound. Just have your liquids the old way from the cup or using a spoon, which is even better.

Spicy foods

Unfortunately, you have to kiss your spicy foods goodbye for a while after the dental implant. Similar to hot foods, these items can irritate or worsen the soreness in the affected area. A worse-case scenario is the heavy seasoning may cause an infection that will take a toll on your recovery.

Tough meat

After the two-week mark, it should be okay for you to enjoy most foods. However, you should continue to avoid ribs, steak, and other tough meat for the entire healing time. This is because the tough meat requires aggressive chewing, and thereby damaging your new dental implants.

dental implant maintenance
dental implant maintenance

4.3. Go with a healthy diet for a speedy recovery

Incorporate a wholesome diet and proper hygiene into your routine for your healing journey for it to run smoothly. That way you can get back to your normal eating regimen in the shortest time possible. Try to refrain yourself from eating what you want as soon as you begin to feel it’s okay without being consulted by the dentist to do so. The pain and comfort may lessen, however, there’s still a risk that the surgical wound is not healed enough to handle the aforementioned heavy foods.

Teeth implants will not affect how you eat, you would not need to worry about them falling off, or accumulating unaccessible dirt. They function the same way as normal teeth do. So immediately after the osseointegration is concluded, you would be able to do whatever you would with a natural tooth.

5. A word from Sydney Dental – your trusted dental provider

Hopefully this read has answered all your questions regarding dental implant maintenance. If you are still unsure whether dental implants are something you need for a new unforgettably stunning smile in your particular case, do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are at 499-501 Ba Hat St, Ward 8, District 10, HCMC looking forward to your visit. You may also call us at (028) 3504 9440 for a free no-obligation comprehensive consultation. Your pretty, shiny smile is 100% guaranteed at Sydney Dental!

 

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