How to Clean Dental Implants
What Are Dental Implants?The term dental implant is often used to describe the implant and the crown. However, a dental implant is a metal attachment that is placed into your jaw bone. An abutment can then be attached to the implant to allow a crown to connect. They are often permanent fixtures that act as man made tooth roots and allow the artificial crown to function like a natural one.
How to Clean Dental ImplantsYou clean dental implants the same way as your natural teeth. However, many people wonder why they have poor oral health, even with a strict cleaning regimen. Here is how to clean your implants.
BrushingLike brushing your regular natural teeth, you should brush implants in a circular motion with a soft-bristled toothbrush for two minutes, twice a day. The circular motion ensures you get in all the grooves. Brushing side to side causes the bristles to skip over the spaces between your teeth. So even if you brush for the recommended time, a side-to-side motion will leave behind harmful plaque. You should use soft bristles because they do the least amount of damage to your teeth and gums. Prolonged use could cause tooth sensitivity and gum loss. Finally, brushing time and frequency. If you brush your teeth for less than two minutes, you’re likely leaving plaque behind. Brushing at least twice a day allows you to remove the plaque that has accumulated since the last time you brushed your teeth.
FlossingSince the crown on your dental implant doesn’t have nerves, you won’t be able to feel the floss touching it. Also, there may be some variations in the tissue around your implant. You may benefit from a water flosser for additional cleaning around your implant site. Ask your dentist how he or she recommends to best clean around the crown.
MouthwashIf you properly brush and floss your teeth, most mouthwash adds little benefits to cleaning your dental implant besides cleansing your mouth. That is unless you use a dry-mouth rinse to combat xerostomia (the medical term for dry mouth). Dry mouth promotes bacteria growth that causes tooth decay, gum disease, and halitosis (bad breath). Your crown and entire smile may also benefit from whitening mouthwash. However, it is not required to clean your dental implants.
Why You Should Clean Your Dental ImplantsToo often, people neglect proper cleaning because they know their artificial crowns can’t get cavities. While the crowns on the implants can’t get cavities, poor oral care can lead to other issues.
Peri-ImplantitisPeri-implantitis is similar to periodontal disease. Poor hygiene causes it and allows bacteria to infect your gums. The symptoms include:
- Swollen or inflamed gums
- Discolored Gums
- Sore or tender gums
- Gum pain while brushing or flossing
- Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
- Pus from around the implant spot
StainingArtificial teeth are susceptible to staining. They often stain at different rates than natural teeth, so the crown on the implant will likely stand out.
Damage to Natural TeethThe crowns on implants can trap food just as easily as your natural teeth. If food particles get stuck between an artificial crown and a natural tooth, the natural tooth can begin to decay. For those reasons, you should maintain proper oral hygiene on all your teeth —– real or artificial.
Best Mouthwash to Keep Dental Implants CleanUnless you suffer from dry mouth, adequate brushing and flossing should be sufficient to keep your implants clean. If you have a dry mouth, you should use a special rinse because bacteria can thrive otherwise. If you don’t suffer from a dry mouth but still want to go the extra mile, most mouthwash brands will work to keep your dental implants and the rest of your mouth clean.
Dental Implants in Point Pleasant, NJIf you’re missing one or more teeth and are looking for a permanent fix, dental implants could be exactly what you need. Take the first steps to a complete smile by calling us or booking a visit online today!
About the Author
Dr. Joseph Zicchino provides a wide array of cosmetic dentistry services, including Invisalign® Clear Aligners, at his practice in Point Pleasant, NJ. He earned his dental degree from NYU Dental School and established Coastal Dental Group in 2004. For more information call (732) 714-1030 or to schedule an appointment!