Soong-Ryong Jung (David) , DDS, MS, PhD
Improving Oral Hygiene: After Care and maintenance of Implants
Once you finally have implants, you are bound to feel great about your smile as it removes the damaged or broken teeth and replaces them with a dental implant. Naturally, after spending time and money on getting the implants, you want to ensure they last longer. This is why aftercare and maintenance are crucial.
Unlike your natural teeth, dental implants are not susceptible to decay. However, you are still required to take good care of them to improve oral hygiene. Aftercare is particularly important right after the surgery to make sure your bones heal.
You can easily avoid complications, discomfort, and pain by taking good care of your new smile. Let’s have a look at the steps you need to follow right after the surgery, as well as regular dental implant maintenance.
Immediate Aftercare for Dental Implants
Immediately after getting the surgery for dental implants, it is important to ensure that your mouth is thoroughly clean until your jaw bone has healed properly. To make sure your recovery is fast and smooth, you must follow these tips:
· Apply ice as needed
· Use gentle pressure to brush teeth
· Rinse mouth with salt water twice or thrice a day
· Drink cold beverages
Following these steps will ensure your mouth heals properly and help you avoid any complications after the surgery. Moreover, it is best to consume soft foods on the day of the surgery.
One to Three Days After Getting Implants
Here are the things you need to consider to care for your implants for at least three days after the surgery:
Bleeding and Swelling
It is normal to experience pain, bleeding, and swelling on the first day after the treatment. You can control the bleeding by placing a gauze pack on the wound and biting on it. Be sure to change the gauze pad after every 30 minutes in case of excessive bleeding.
Swelling can be decreased by using ice packs on the cheeks as often as you can. You can also manage the pain by taking some over-the-counter pain medicines.
The night after you get the surgery for dental implants, you must regularly and thoroughly rinse your mouth with the mouthwash prescribed by the dentist. Make sure you use the rinse right after waking up, after breakfast, and before going to bed.
Do the rinsing for around 30 seconds. Aside from the prescribed rinse, you can also rinse your mouth with salt water a few times a day. This helps you avoid using too many chemicals usually found in mouthwashes.
Physical Activity and Diet
After the dental implant surgery, you can drive yourself home and even start working from the next day. Although, it is good to avoid strenuous activities as it could lead to bleeding since your body strains when you perform such activities.
You should also take care of your diet for the next three days at least. Usually, soft foods are recommended after having dental surgery. Make sure to avoid hard and sticky foods as they can damage the implant and prevent healing.
You can start brushing your teeth as you usually do, but it is essential not to put too much pressure on your teeth. Use gentle pressure and strokes to keep your teeth cleaned for the first three days after the surgery.
Regular Maintenance of Dental Implants
Here are a few things follow to keep your dental implant healthy and clean for a long time:
Brushing and Flossing
You can continue cleaning your implants the same way you clean your regular teeth. You can use a mall, soft brush (electric or manual), floss, and mouthwash to maintain your oral hygiene. Make sure you use them gently for the first month or so around the surgical area to avoid any discomfort.
Dentists often recommended using special floss or unwaxed tape to clean the area between the teeth. You can ask your dentist for recommendations.
Smoking And Alcohol
Smoking can have a significant impact on the healing of your dental implant. You must completely avoid smoking for at least two months after the surgery. Nicotine can constrict blood vessels that can create issues with osseointegration, leading to implant failure or infection.
You should also avoid consuming alcohol for at least a week or so after getting the implants. Alcohol can slow down the formation of blood vessels, and as a result, the implants might not fuse well with the bone.
Professional Cleaning and Examination
Aside from taking care of your implants and oral health at home, you must get regular checkups from a professional. You will have to visit your dentist 14 days after the surgery to get the stitches removed. Usually, the stitches dissolve themselves, but you still need to get it checked to make sure.
Your dentist would ask you to come for follow-ups to ensure the implant is working well. Moreover, getting the implant leads to changes in the bone and surrounding gums. Therefore, your dentist must check for gaps between the teeth and gum and look for any bone loss after the surgery. These issues can only be identified after a thorough examination.
Aside from this, you must also go for regular professional cleaning to keep your dental implants and natural teeth as clean and healthy as possible.
Keeping your dental implants and teeth cleaned will enhance your oral health. You must be extra careful right after getting the surgery to make sure the surgical site heals properly, and there aren’t any signs of infections or other complications.
In case your bleeding, swelling, or pain doesn’t go away within three days of surgery, you must immediately go to your dentist to get it checked. Regular checkups and cleanings can keep your teeth clean and identify any potential problems.
At Jung Dental Implants, from simple preventative care and general dentistry to specialist treatments and complete tooth replacement, we provide a wide range of dental services. Call us at XXX-XXX-XXX to book your appointment if you want to improve your smile with the right dental implants.