With over 500,000 Americans getting dental implants each year, it’s hard to ignore them when looking for a way to restore the gaps in your smile caused by missing teeth. They offer a tooth-like aesthetic that makes it difficult to distinguish from your natural teeth.
Furthermore, dental implants will boost your confidence and self-esteem because they won’t slide around or fall out like dentures. Drinking, eating, and socializing has never been more accessible for tooth loss sufferers than they are with an implant-restored smile.
The simple care regimen your implants need is one of the main reasons why people love them compared to the alternatives (e.g., dentures). Dental implants don’t require any additional care than you would give your natural teeth. With daily brushing, flossing, and routine visits to see Dr. Herrmann, your implants could outlive your natural smile.
However, there is one difference between caring for your teeth and the implant. At Assure a Smile, we recommend using soft, non-abrasive hygiene products. The reason we advise the use of gentle products is that it’s possible to scratch and damage the implant, which weakens it and increases the risk of implant failure.
Now that your implant is in place, it’s time to start taking care of it so that your smile stays healthy. Dr. Herrmann recommends selecting a toothbrush with soft or extra soft bristles. While firm bristles are excellent for dislodging food particles, softer ones will ensure that you don’t scratch the zirconia implant. Moreover, there is no difference in acceptability for traditional or electric toothbrushes; as long as you brush the surface of each tooth for at least two minutes, you’ll be fine.
As it pertains to toothpaste, the essential shopping-tip to remember here is that different brands may contain harsh ingredients. You can protect your implant and the soft tissue that supports it by choosing a toothpaste that doesn’t include baking soda. Furthermore, we advise our patients to stay away from whitening products as well. Continually using baking soda can eat at your enamel.
There’s no difference in dental floss, right? Wrong.
Flossing is a vital portion of maintaining a healthy smile. It can access those hard-to-reach spots where plaque and bacteria grow that your toothbrush can’t reach. At Assure a Smile, Dr. Herrmann suggests using nylon-coated floss because it’s designed to glide between your teeth and on your soft tissue. Furthermore, some companies craft special floss intended for use with dental implants.
Beyond clearing the excess plaque from the surfaces of your teeth, a strong mouthwash will clean the soft tissue in your mouth, significantly reducing your risk of developing gum disease. Like with toothpaste, when selecting a mouthwash, we recommend shying from whitening products and mouthwash that contains alcohol.
Teeth whitening mixtures contain abrasive ingredients that can damage the implant, altering its color and structural integrity. Any mouthwash that has alcohol in it is also a bad idea. Alcohol can cause dry mouth, and saliva is the first line of defense for your smile against dangerous bacteria.
Dr. Theodore Herrmann
9220 SW 72nd Street, Suite 205
Monday: 8AM – 5PM
Tuesday: 7AM – 5PM
Wednesday: 7AM – 5PM
Thursday: 7AM – 3PM