You may not realize it, but practicing good dental hygiene with a daily oral health regimen is just as important with dental appliances as with your natural teeth and gums.
When you have dental implants put in, for example, you need to care for them in the same way as your original teeth. In fact, anything you put into your mouth for dental reasons should be treated as part of your mouth.
Here are 10 important tips to remember to help you better care for your teeth, gums, and dental appliances!
For at least the first week or two after getting dental implants put in, you should be extra careful to avoid getting any food particles stuck in your teeth or between a tooth and an implant. One way to help do this is to rinse (and gargle) with a solution of salt and warm water after every meal.
1. Stick With A Regular Toothbrush Post-op
Immediately after a major dental procedure, be it the placement of dental implant rods or periodontal treatment, take it easy on your mouth! Avoid flossing or using an electric toothbrush for the first few days post-op.
Avoid any harsh brushing or unnecessary touching of sensitive gums or teeth until they heal.
2. Be Careful Little Mouth What You Eat!
Following a healthy diet is a key part of keeping up good dental hygiene. Immediately after a dental procedure, you may need to follow a soft diet for a time, but you also need to adjust eating habits for the long-term.
Avoid too many high-sugar snacks and drinks, get a good dose of nutrient-rich fresh fruits and vegetables and take it easy on foods (like chips) that can stab your gum tissue or (like peanut brittle) that can get stuck between teeth and become hard to dislodge.
3. Drink Plenty Of Water Every Day
You need around 8 glasses of water per day for optimal hydration and immune health. But water does more than just keep your feeling fresh and healthy – it also helps to wash away unwanted debris from your oral cavity.
When you drink too little water on a regular basis, your mouth can become dry and sticky – bad breath is the usual result. Lack of water also invites cavities, gum disease, and germ colonies.
4. Drop Bad Habits That Hurt Dental Hygiene
Did you know that smoking tobacco products is a leading cause of poor oral hygiene? It can stain both natural teeth and dental implants over time, and it has a negative impact on gum health as well.
Excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages and using chewing tobacco also make it difficult to keep your mouth healthy. Quitting anything that negatively impacts your dental hygiene and oral health will have a big impact over the long term.
5. Care For Dental Implants Just Like “Real Teeth”
After the initial healing phase, you will begin to care for your new dental implants in the same way you would for a natural tooth.
That means brushing them with a soft-bristled toothbrush, flossing them daily, and using an antiseptic mouthwash to kill any bacteria adhering to your implants.
6. Take Care To Clean Removable Dentures
If you opt to wear removable dentures, be sure to clean them daily. If you let them gather bacteria, the germs will then colonize your gum tissue that the dentures are in contact with.
All-on-4 implant-supported dentures remove the need to constantly clean dentures in special solutions, but you still need to brush, floss, and care for them just like regular teeth.
7. Brush & Floss Carefully Around Dental Bridges
Food particles and plaque can easily get stuck on or under dental bridges. That’s why you need to always check them when you do your daily brushing and flossing.
You may need to buy a special tool for cleaning around your bridges, partial dentures, braces, or other dental appliances. Your dentist, periodontist, or orthodontist can help you find the right tool if you are struggling to properly clean around your bridge or other dental appliance.
8. Be Cautious With An Extraction Site
If you are planning on having a dental implant put in but so far have only had an extraction, be extra cautious in the interim. It is too easy for food debris to get stuck in the socket where your old tooth used to be.
Don’t brush or floss on the extraction site. Let it heal. Use saltwater or an antiseptic mouth rinse to kill the germs.
9. Schedule Regular Follow-up Visits
Whatever type of dental appliance you may be wearing, or even if you have none at all, you should schedule regular dental visits to keep tabs on your dental hygiene.
Follow-up visits will ensure that your appliance is still functioning properly and catch any developing issues early.
To learn more about how to keep up good dental hygiene and oral health, particularly if you have dental implants or another dental appliance, contact the experts at Ormond Beach Periodontics & Implant Dentistry in Central Florida today!