Dental implants are fantastic way to restore your smile. They’re a convenient solution that look and function like your natural teeth. To make them last as long as possible, proper care at home is especially important. When it comes to protecting dental implants, “the goal of oral hygiene is to prevent infection.” You do this in the same way care for your natural teeth, with a daily regimen of brushing, rinsing with mouthwash, and using an interdental cleaner (a device designed to clean between your teeth).
Dentists recommend to following practices with dental implants.
There’s a lot of discussion about which type of toothbrush works best around dental implants and other types of dental work. In fact, there have been numerous studies conducted to determine whether powered or manual toothbrushes are the safest and most effective way to protect your dental implants. So far, these studies “show no significant difference between sonic, electric, or manual toothbrushes.”
One thing is clear, though. You should select a toothbrush with soft bristles. There’s a consensus in the dental literature which “supports the use of soft or extra soft brushes as a means to clean the surface of a titanium implant safely.”
You will want to select a low-abrasive toothpaste to avoid scratching the titanium implant fixture. That means no baking soda, no stain removers, and no smoker’s toothpaste. You should also avoid toothpaste containing both stannous fluoride and sodium fluoride because they can damage the titanium in your dental implants.
An interdental cleaner removes debris from spaces between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. Dental floss is the most common interdental cleaner, but water flossers (also known as oral irrigators) and interdental brushes are alternatives to flossing.
Flossing is an effective way to clean around dental implants. Dentists recommend using either unwaxed floss or implant-specific floss. Floss with pumice or whitening products should be avoided.
Many people find water flossers to be a gentle and effective alternative to dental floss. Recent studies found that, when compared to dental floss, water flossers are “up to 50% more effective in reducing gingivitis and up to 93% more effective in reducing gingival bleeding.”
Interdental brushes are another alternative for cleaning between your teeth. Make sure to select one that’s made of or coated with plastic.
You should rinse with mouthwash every day. Research shows that for patients with dental implants “the use of an antimicrobial rinse, in conjunction with a rubber tip stimulator, may be recommended to inactivate bacteria.”
See Dr. Wassenaar for all your implant needs. Contact our office in Williams Lake to arrange your consultation with D. Wassenaar and discover what our implants can do for you!