Whether you’re the proud recipient of one dental implant or multiple, our West Michigan dentists want you to know how to properly care for them. Despite dental implants consisting of an artificial tooth root topped with a crown, you still should practice good dental hygiene to keep them (and your natural teeth) in ideal shape.

Let’s look at 5 tips that our dentists recommend you follow when caring for dental implants.

1. Use Gentle or Sensitive Cleaning Products

After you receive dental implants, you’ll want to switch over to a soft toothbrush and sensitive cleaning products if you haven’t already. These items will prevent any discomfort that may occur and allow for easier oral care.

Nylon toothbrushes work great as the bristles are flexible and gentle on your dental implants. Toothbrushes containing hard bristles can scratch the surface of your implants so these and any type of metal instrument used for cleaning should be avoided.

Try to also stay away from any toothpaste or mouthwash that is abrasive. Products of this nature, like charcoal or whitening toothpastes, can cause discomfort and intense flavors can result in an uncomfortable mouth feeling.

2. Floss and Brush Every Day

Even with dental implants, you should continue to brush your teeth at least twice a day as well as floss daily. It’s actually more important to floss after you have received dental implants due to possible plaque accumulation.

Yes, plaque can easily build up around your implants which can result in other oral hygiene issues. Luckily, there are many types of floss on the market that are targeted toward people with dental implants.

Have trouble remembering to floss? Set a reminder on your phone or do it while watching tv so it doesn’t feel like much of a chore.

Learn More -> Do I Really Need to Floss?

3. Avoid Smoking or Other Tobacco Products

In general, our dentists recommend that you avoid smoking for your overall health. It is especially vital to abstain from this habit once the dental implant procedure has begun as smoking can interfere with the healing process following surgery.

Dental implants take about 6 months to heal fully so smoking during this sensitive time can be damaging. For the sake of your teeth, gums, and body, we urge you to refrain from smoking if possible.

4. Limit Consumption of Sticky/Hard Foods

Eating any food that is inherently sticky or hard can damage your dental implants soon after recovery. Furthermore, these types of foods can also be harmful to your natural teeth if consumed too regularly.

While dental implants differ from dentures in that they allow for a less restricted diet, proper healing needs to occur first. After the placement of dental implants, try to eat soft foods so your mouth and jaw can rest.

Some foods to avoid during this time include:

  • Caramel
  • Ice
  • Hard candies
  • Gum
  • Apples
  • Crusty bread
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn with kernels

Once you are fully healed and cleared by our dentists, you are welcome to eat whatever you’d like. If you’re ever unsure of whether a food is appropriate given your healing time frame, give one of our offices a call and we’ll give you our professional advice.

Learn More -> Eat Your Favorite Foods Again With Dental Implants

5. See Our Dental Implant Dentists Regularly

Dental implants will restore your smile but unfortunately, they will not absolve you of all future dental issues. Our dentists would still like to see you for routine teeth cleanings every 3-6 months to monitor your oral health.

A visit to any of our MI Smiles Dental locations will also provide you with an opportunity to bring up any concerns you might have regarding your implants. Our dentists will check on the condition of your dental implants and provide you with helpful tips on care techniques if needed.

Have More Dental Implant Questions?

Wanting to know all that you can about your dental implants is normal. Here at MI Smiles Dental, our West Michigan dental implant dentists have the answers you’re looking for and are here to help you maintain great oral health throughout the entire process of implantation. Call one of our locations today to schedule an appointment and set up a time that works best for you.

This blog has been updated.