Now you have your implants in place you should be able to eat most foods although you should try and avoid chewing hard objects, ice and sticky foods. Like your natural teeth, implants should be brushed after every meal and care taken to floss around them too.
Ultimately the long term success of your dental implants depends on how well you look after them. As with your natural teeth, regular visits to your implant dentist are essential. He will implement a dental visit program to ensure that both your implants and natural teeth remain healthy. During these visits to monitor your implants he will also check over your natural teeth and gums, since good oral health is especially important in implant patients.
Periodontal disease can occur if gums and teeth are not cleaned properly, If left untreated, bone loss which causes supporting structures to weaken may occur, which in turn can mean the loss of implants and natural teeth.
Care at home
Your dental implant dentist will tell you that regular brushing and flossing is key to long term success. There are special brushes known as interproximal brushes or “proxy brushes” which can be used to clean below and behind the implant and he should be able to supply you with these or tell you where you can buy them. They are not a substitute for flossing and should be used as an addition. He may recommend using a cordless electric toothbrush, but whether you use this or a standard toothbrush, your dentist will check to see that you are cleaning the areas properly.
Flossing also needs to be part of your routine care at home and floss threaders can be useful in helping reach underneath bridges and bars and around implants, so that these areas can be properly cleaned.
Oral irrigation systems have been proven to reduce the accumulation of plaque around natural teeth and implants. They are a sort of power wash for flushing away any particles of food which get lodged in areas that brushes and flossing still can’t reach.
When it comes to toothpaste most of them contain fluoride which is good for natural teeth and won’t harm implants. You are best to avoid tooth pastes which contain abrasive ingredients such as baking soda, smoker’s toothpastes, and stain removers since these can remove the glaze on the porcelain.
The cost for dental implants is still quite considerable so don’t throw your money away by not caring for them properly. Follow a strict cleaning procedure and they should last a lifetime.