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How to Care for Dental Implants

Two of the major benefits of dental implants are their durability and permanence. Dental implants look and feel like real teeth! They replace the natural root of the tooth with a titanium post that connects to the jaw bone. Then, the crown connects to that post, so the teeth are totally secure. Put simply, implants are a permanent solution, and therefore, far more durable than bridges or dentures.

So, how do you care for your dental implants? By embracing the same good oral hygiene habits you would for your natural teeth—with a few adjustments. Here are some tips on how to keep your dental implants clean and make sure they last a lifetime:

Floss regularly. Floss at least once each day to remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line. Many of our patients use thick, flexible floss that is very effective for implants. Flossing is especially important to avoid inflammation of the surrounding gum and bone, which can lead to bone loss (also known as peri-implantitis). Peri-implantitis has a number of causes, one of which is poor oral hygiene.

Brush twice per day. While dental implants are not susceptible to tooth decay, they still collect plaque just like regular teeth. Frequent removal of that bacterial biofilm is critical for gum health. The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice each day for two minutes. Be sure to place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums and brush all teeth surfaces and your tongue. A Sonicare toothbrush does a great job of removing plaque and bacteria.

Use a water flosser and rubber tip. Waterpiks are excellent tools for cleaning around implants above the gum line.  A soft rubber tip attachment for the Waterpik (such as the Waterpik Pik Pocket) helps keep the area below the gum line clean as well.

Get regular checkups and cleanings. Dental implants need professional cleaning just as frequently as natural teeth, if not more often. Schedule checkups with your dentist every 3-4 months to have your mouth, teeth, dental implants, and gums examined for any issues and for a thorough cleaning.

With a good oral hygiene routine, your mouth will stay healthy and your dental implants should last you for a very long time. We’re here to answer any questions you might have about dental implants or the surgery.

Call us at one of our three convenient locations: Hackensack: 201.343.8297, Westwood: 201.664.5656, or Ridgewood: 201.444.4137.