If you’re like many dental patients, you love the idea of getting full mouth implants rather than conventional dentures. Unlike dentures, dental implants don’t have to be removed on a nightly basis, cleaned, and soaked overnight. They also provide superior functionality that more closely mimics that of natural teeth, allowing you to chew your food better, and they don’t slip when you speak. However, some people believe they’re off the hook for practicing good dental hygiene at home because prosthetic teeth can’t develop tooth decay no matter how natural they look. While this is true, full mouth dental implants still need to be cared for to prevent other oral health complications. For instance, failure to properly care for your dental implants may result in gum disease. Left unchecked, gum disease can result in systemic infections with the potential to adversely affect other parts of the body. Here’s what you need to know about keeping your gums healthy after having dental implants installed:
Brush and Floss as Usual
You will still need to brush and floss even though your prosthetic teeth won’t develop tooth decay. The reason for that is because plaque and tartar buildup still occurs on prosthetic teeth, and while these buildups won’t harm the teeth themselves, they can nonetheless harm the gums. Brushing and flossing should remain a part of your normal routine, and if good dental hygiene wasn’t part of your routine prior to implants, ask your dentist to provide you with a blueprint for taking the best possible care of your implants. Low-abrasive toothpaste designed for use on implants is often recommended so they don’t damage the surface — it’s not quite as strong as natural enamel.
Consider Using an Oral Irrigation Device
Oral irrigation devices that you use at home may provide an extra layer of protection against the onset of gum disease. Many patients who find flossing uncomfortable have no problem with using an at-home oral irrigation system. Several types exist, so ask your dentist which one might be best for you.
See Your Dentist Every Six Months
Emerging dental health issues aren’t always evident to those without specialized training, so see your dentist every six months to circumvent the development of possible gum issues. Most of the time, gum disease can be successfully treated when it’s caught in its early stages.
Please feel free to contact our office for more information or to schedule an appointment.