How to Care for New Dental Implants

If you’re missing a tooth, replacing it with a dental implant is your best bet. Unlike other tooth restorations, implants preserve the jaw bone so you don’t suffer from the consequences of bone loss. 

Implants restore the tooth’s crown as well as the root so when you chew, the root becomes stimulated and generates new cells to prevent bone loss. The implant also holds the restoration securely in place so it doesn’t move around. 

Sure, implants have plenty of benefits, but do you know how to care for them? Read on to find out how to clean and care for your implants over time.

Implant Surgery Aftercare

The immediate aftercare for dental implants is a bit different from the general daily care that will take place once you’re healed. You can expect some minor bleeding, pain, and swelling to occur for the first 48-72 hours. 

Bite down on the gauze for at least 30 minutes after your surgery and change them as needed. If bleeding continues, you can bite down on a wet caffeinated tea bag instead. Take anti-inflammatory pain medication to relieve any pain or discomfort. 

Swelling, which will peak 2-3 days after surgery, can be relieved by keeping the head elevated and applying a cold pack intermittently for 20 minutes on and off in the first 24 hours. After 24 hours, brush and floss your teeth like normal but avoid the implant site. 

Stick to a strict soft-food-only diet until the implant site has healed and chew on the opposite side of your mouth. After 24 hours, you can begin swishing a saltwater solution in your mouth a few times a day.

What to Avoid While You Heal

You will face the most restrictions in the first 24 hours. In this time, you should avoid exercise, drinking alcohol, hot foods or drinks, all forms of suction, spitting, swishing around rinses in your mouth, and brushing your teeth. You should not smoke at all during the healing process, but especially in the first 3 days. Do not eat any hard, crunchy, or sticky foods in the first week. 

General Oral Hygiene Routine

Dental implants are generally low maintenance when it comes to cleaning. You clean them much like you care for your regular teeth - by brushing with a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste twice a day for at least two minutes and flossing once a day. 

Nylon brushes are preferable because they’re gentle on implants. An interdental brush can help you clean in between the teeth and implants. It’s also important to attend regular dental cleanings and checkups. 

Plaque buildup can cause gum disease and tooth decay in the surrounding teeth so you want to make sure that you’re going to the dentist every 6 months. Your Fremont dentist can also keep an eye on the condition of your implants and let you know if a component needs to be replaced.

Schedule Your Implant Maintenance Appointment in Fremont Today!

While dental implants have a lifespan of 25 years to life, not all parts of your restoration will last this long. The dental crown will need to be replaced within 5-15 years depending on how much wear and tear it goes through. If you have dental implants and are due for a checkup or cleaning with Dr. Adam Lamprecht, contact us at Fremont Family Dentistry today.

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