Post-Procedure Care for Dental ImplantsFor those who have had them, dental implants can be extremely valuable for long-term oral health. There are several types of dental implants available, each of which come in a form extremely similar to your natural teeth so you’ll have a limited adjustment period and virtually no aesthetic changes. At the offices of Scott W. Grant DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we have a variety of dental implants depending on your needs, from single-tooth implants to all-in-four implants that allow replacement of a full set of teeth without any dentures. We can also help you with the basic care areas you should be considering after dental implant surgery – here are some essential tips.
Basic HabitsThe most important bit of care for dental implants can be accomplished simply by practicing smart oral habits. Many of these are simple, the same kinds of habits you were given from a young age to take care of your teeth and gums. Some areas include:
- Flossing: Your dentist may recommend a specific floss brand based on the type of dental implant you received. They may also recommend a floss threader to make flossing easier.
- Proper brushing: Brushing with the proper technique, including higher up on the gums, helps keep them healthy despite a change to tooth structure.
- Nonabrasive brushes: You want to be at least moderately careful with the dental implant in the first few months after it’s put in place, and one way to do this is by using softer, nonabrasive brush bristles.
Areas to AvoidThere are a few broad areas to generally avoid when it comes to caring for dental implants:
- Bad foods: You want to avoid foods that might stick between the new implant or cause damage if you bite down on them too hard. These may include rice, nuts, popcorn or apples. Instead, prioritize softer foods in the days and weeks after the procedure.
- Extreme temperatures: Teeth are often sensitive directly after an implant procedure – including teeth that were not even impacted. For this reason, avoid extremely hot or cold foods or beverages for the first few weeks.
- Picks: If you’re looking to reach plaque buildup areas using a pick device of some kind, avoid metal or plastic picks at all costs. These are highly likely to scratch or weaken the implant surface. Your dentist can recommend a water pick if you have areas you struggle to reach.
Mouthwash ConsiderationsWhether or not mouthwash was part of your oral routine before your implant, it should be afterward. Mouthwash is great for removing bacteria and germs in tough places to reach in the mouth, which might be exacerbated during the adjustment period to a new structure in the mouth.
When to Seek Dental AssistanceIt’s expected that you’ll have some mild sensitivity and perhaps even very minor discomfort in the days and weeks following a dental implant. However, if any of the following takes place, you should immediately contact our dentists:
- Major pain or swelling
- Nausea shortly after the operation
- Blood oozing from the affected area within 24-48 hours of the procedure