If you’ve been fortunate enough to benefit from dental implants placed and restored at our New Albany office we’re sure you’re enjoying all the benefits. You’re eating your favorite foods again, you aren’t worrying about your teeth anymore, and you’re saving a bunch of money on denture products.
You might be wondering how to care for your implants as they’ve healed. Now that you’re living the implant life it’s good to know how to make them last for the rest of it. While implant care doesn’t have to be difficult it does have to be thought about. No matter why you lost your teeth you don’t want to duplicate any bad habits with your great new smile!
Implant Care Made Easy
When we place implants at New Albany Implants we tell our patients to care for them just like the would natural teeth. That means brushing twice a day for at least two minutes and, if applicable, flossing between your implants (for full mouth bridges this isn’t possible – they’re all one piece).
If you’re brushing with implants there are certain things you should be careful to do:
- Hold the brush at a 45 degree angle to your gums. This helps keep plaque from getting beneath your gumline where it can cause serious problems.
- Brush with strokes about as wide as one tooth.
- Get each side of each tooth to ensure you’re eliminating as much plaque bacteria as possible.
Flossing is just as important for patients who are able to get between their implants and remaining natural teeth. Plaque loves to hide in the spots your brush can’t reach, and if you don’t keep it in check you’ll quickly find yourself with infections.
- Use an 18-inch piece of floss – that should be enough to get the whole mouth.
- Only use a couple of inches for any given space.
- Use a back-and-forth motion to feed the floss into the space between your teeth.
- Make sure to get both sides and get into the gumline – that part’s essential to extracting bacteria from just out of site!
Professional Care Is Just As Important!
Getting dental implants isn’t the end of seeing the dentist for cleanings and exams. On the contrary, special steps have to be taken to ensure your implants stay bacteria-free and safe.
Unlike a natural tooth, which is stabilized and kept healthy by a tissue called periodontal ligament, your implants are connected directly to your gum tissue. While the connection they form is strong, it isn’t nearly as tough as periodontal ligament connections.
The periodontal ligament bonds to natural bone by sticking strong fibers into all the pits and grooves that your teeth have on them. This forms an incredibly strong, reliable seal that is incredibly rich in blood vessels that easily fight bacteria and help prevent infection.
Your implant crown, by contrast, is attached to your gum tissue with what amounts to a bunch of microscopic suction cups. They form a strong seal, but nowhere near as tough as the fibrous ligament structures that bond to a natural tooth.
Because the seal between your implant crown and your gums isn’t as strong they require regular care to fight bacteria. Without that care you could end up developing peri-implantitis, a dangerous condition that destroys implants and the bone that holds them.
Peri-Implantitis: It’s Bad!
Peri-implant disease is the same thing as gum disease, just at an implant site. When bacteria comes between your gums and your implant it spreads quickly, resulting in your gums separating from your implant, receding, and exposing the implant.
If peri-implantitis continues it will end up eating away at the bone around your implant, causing it to weaken and fall out. In many cases this can be a permanent loss if too much bone is destroyed!
Don’t Let Your Implants Fail: Treat Them Right!
Only through proper care at home and at our office will your implants last you as long as they are supposed to: for life. Brushing twice a day, flossing every night, and seeing us every six months are the sure-fire solutions to a beautiful and healthy smile that you never have to worry about.
Don’t risk your implants by not being careful enough: they were an investment in your future! Make an appointment at New Albany Implants today by calling (812) 945-7645 or by filling out our online request form. We look forward to seeing you soon!