Dental implants have become a popular treatment approach for many of today’s most common oral ailments. Whether it’s a broken tooth or a misaligned smile, whether you need dentures or are looking for a superior alternative to the ones you already have, dental implants are safer, more effective, and more affordable than ever before. With more and more people opting for oral implants these days, it’s important to know what exactly they are and how to properly care for them.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root, typically made of titanium or another mixed-metal alloy that is safe for the mouth, used to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth in the oral cavity. It is a permanent base that affixes to artificial replacement teeth, intended to blend in and enhance the quality of one’s smile and the overall functioning of one’s mouth.
How do you properly care for dental implants?
Dental implants require care and maintenance just like the rest of your teeth in order to stay healthy and in proper shape. The best strategies for quality care can be obtained from your local dentist or qualified oral care professional, but in general, there are a few key tips all individuals with dental implants should consider.
Practice quality oral hygiene
If you keep your entire mouth in good health, you’ll also be taking quality care of your dental implants. The artificial teeth your dentist gave you require the same daily cleaning and care as the rest of your teeth to keep them from acquiring plaque and bacteria. It’s also the best way to ensure they’ll last for the long haul.
Opt for a softer brush
Because the artificial teeth of your dental implants are made of metal rather than the natural bone of your original teeth, they’re more prone to scratches and damage during everyday cleanings. While it’s essential that you brush often, using a softer-bristled brush allows you to do so without risking damage to your dental implants.
Floss and rinse every day
The spaces in and around dental implants are more prone to the accumulation of plaque, tartar, and bacteria, factors that not only can erode your healthy teeth but that can also cause peri-implantitis – an infection of the tissues surrounding the implants. Flossing and following up with an appropriate oral rinse will offer the best protection against peri-implantitis and the damaging factors that cause it.
Attend regular dental appointments
The ADA recommends attending dental appointments twice a year. If you’re an individual with dental implants, these two biannual cleanings and inspections should be the bare minimum. Only a qualified dentist can thoroughly assess the overall health of your teeth, gums, and implants, so regularly following up with him or her is a must, whether that’s twice a year or twice a month.