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Dental Implant Aftercare

Tips to Keep You Smiling for Decades

Many people choose dental implants over other kinds of dental restorations due to the long-lasting results that implant treatment promises. Instead of replacing crowns or bridges every 5 to 15 years, individuals with implants can usually rely on their replacement teeth to last for decades!

If you have recently undergone dental implant treatment and want your new teeth to last as long as possible, you will need practice good dental implant aftercare. Here is some advice from an implant dentist on how to care for your beautiful, full smile.

Make Oral Hygiene a Priority

Implant dentist holding implant model

While it is true that dental implants cannot get cavities, bacteria can still infect the gums around an implant site. This condition, called peri-implantitis, can often cause severe bone loss in the jaw. Jawbone deterioration around the implant site will almost certainly lead to implant failure.

Fortunately, practicing excellent oral hygiene at home can help prevent peri-implantitis and other oral infections. Here are some basic oral hygiene tips to keep your implants in tip-top shape:

  • Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush at least twice a day for a full two minutes each time.
  • Floss at least once daily. If your implant is hard to reach using regular floss, you can try using a water flosser or an interdental brush instead.
  • Rinse your mouth with an anti-bacterial mouthwash after brushing and flossing.

Protect Your Dental Implants

Close up of woman brushing teeth

Accidents and injuries to the mouth can damage a dental implant or even require an implant to be removed. For this reason, you should always wear an athletic mouthguard whenever you are participating in football, basketball or another contact sport. A mouthguard will protect your teeth and implants in case of any accidental collisions.  

Do you grind or clench your teeth at night? Known as bruxism, this common side effect of daily stress can have a negative effect on your implants. Wearing a nightguard while you sleep can protect your implants, prevent enamel erosion and reduce the jaw pain associated with grinding teeth. 

Finally, avoid using your teeth or implants as tools to open packages – grab a pair of scissors instead!

Schedule Regular Recall Visits

Blue mouthguard to prevent implant damage

In addition to practicing excellent oral hygiene at home and following the advice above to protect your teeth and implants, you should also come visit us twice a year at The Smilist Dental Medford! Regular dental appointments are an important part of dental implant care. In addition to a routine dental exam and cleaning, our dentists will carefully inspect your dental implants to make sure they are in good shape and functioning properly. Catching potential implant-related problems early on is critical to providing effective treatment. If it has been longer than six months since your last dental checkup, do not wait to give our team a call!