The ability to improve dental health has increased dramatically in recent years with more advancements in dental implants. Dental implants, with the proper care, can effectively last up to 10 years 97% of the time they’re used.
Not only do they help fix problematic teeth, but they also help preserve the health of the teeth around the implant. It can also help to decrease any sensitivity felt in the teeth near the implant location.
To preserve the positive results of getting a dental implant, you need to avoid these dental implant care errors.
Read on to learn the errors you should avoid once you have a dental implant placed in your mouth.
1. Not Practicing Good Oral Hygiene
It’s important to establish a good dental implant care routine. Just like your natural teeth, your dental implant needs care and attention.
Practicing good oral hygiene is important to maintain the life of the dental implant.
Like dental care, you’d provide your teeth; you should brush multiple times daily. You should also floss once a day and also use an antibacterial mouthwash.
By practicing good oral hygiene, you can avoid plaque buildup around the implant and near the gum line, which helps preserve the implant.
2. Using the Wrong Cleaning Tools
As you establish a good oral hygiene routine, it’s important to do it with the right implant cleaning tools. You want to maintain your teeth and implant by carefully selecting cleaning tools for your mouth.
A good place to start is with the following:
- A toothbrush that’s made of soft nylon
- Dental floss
- Low abrasion toothpaste
- Antimicrobial mouthwash
- Interdental toothbrush
There are several different types of dental implants. You need to ask about the type you have and if you need to also use a dental floss threader. This tool helps to reach under the implant and remove plaque.
3. Not Following Post Implant Care Instructions
Once you begin the process of having a dental implant, you’ll have several appointments to complete the implant process. Your dentist or endodontist will provide detailed instructions for follow-up and care.
This should include the steps for cleaning dental implants, especially if you’re in the process of getting them.
It’s important that you follow the instructions for care provided by your dentist so you avoid any type of infection. It’s also important that you see your dental care provider for all follow-up appointments until you have your final crown for the implant.
4. Not Reporting Discomfort
Of course, one of the big concerns when getting a dental implant involves pain. It’s natural to worry about how much pain you’ll experience through the dental implant process.
You should expect a small amount of discomfort following the implant surgery. Probably over the counter pain relievers will be enough to relieve the discomfort.
The concern should be if you feel a sudden sharp pain in the area of your implant. This is not the time to be tough or to attempt to ignore the pain.
A sharp pain or a sudden spike in pain means you should call your dentist. You want to report this type of pain because it could indicate there’s an issue.
One of the worst things you can do to derail your dental implant is to smoke. This is especially true of the time following your procedure when you’re recovering.
Most people assume that the reason not to smoke is that the smoke can cause inflammation and discoloration of the tooth. While this is true, the issue with smoking goes beyond that.
Smoking can reduce the oxygen level in the blood. It can impact the ability of the jaw bone to fuse with the implant and slow down the healing process.
Smoking can also contribute to gum disease.
6. Skipping Your Regular Checkups
Following your series of implant dentist visits, you’ll likely feel some relief that you’ve addressed the problem in your mouth. You might even feel like you can be free of dental visits for a while.
In fact, it’s important to continue your regular preventative dental care twice a year. When you go for your regular dental cleaning and checkup, the dentist will likely check your dental implant.
It’s important to ensure the implant remains secure. The dentist will need to remove plaque, tartar, and other material around the implant that might undermine your implant’s integrity.
7. Biting Hard Objects
Like your own natural teeth, a dental implant can be damaged by using it in a certain way. When you bite hard objects, like ice, for example, you could risk damaging the dental implant.
If you want to ensure the full lifespan of your dental implant, avoiding chewing on hard items can help.
Other food items that are particularly hard and could cause a crack in the dental implant should also be avoided. This might include items like raw carrots, croutons, and hard candy.
8. Participating in Contact Sports
When you get a dental implant, it’s important to give your jaw time to heal. The jawbone needs to fuse completely with the implant to make it secure.
When you participate in contact sports you run the risk of any contact impacting the implant’s healing process.
It’s smart to consider the risk to your face and mouth when deciding what sports to participate in, especially while your jaw heals completely.
9. Grinding Teeth
Talk to your dentist about the risks if you’re a person who grinds their teeth, especially in your sleep.
This can pose a risk for both the implant and your natural teeth to crack from the grinding.
Avoid These Dental Implant Care Errors
Avoid these dental implant care errors to protect the integrity of your implant and help to ensure it lasts for many years into the future.
If you need dental care, including a dental implant, we can help. Contact us today so we can answer your questions and help get you a healthy mouth.