4 Things You Can Do For Your New Dental Implants

When getting dental implants, your dental provider will make sure you're well taken care of while at their office. They'll also provide you with aftercare instructions, which ought to be followed in order to minimize recovery time. In addition to the instructions provided by your dentist, there are also some other things that you can do. If you're getting dental implants soon, follow these tips to help ensure your new implants work well.

Stop Smoking Before You Get Implants

Smoking has a couple of negative effects on dental implants.

Fist, smoking during the days immediately following an implant procedure increases the chances of losing the implant. In order to succeed, implants must bond with the bone they're inserted into. Smoking interferes with the healing process and can prevent a proper bond from forming.

Second, smoking has long-term effects on dental implant viability. Smoking has been found to increase the rate of bone loss in the jawbone surrounding implants by 0.16 millimeters per year. A fraction of a millimeter may not seem like much, but over the life span of an implant, the increased bone loss can add up. Eventually, there may not be enough bone around the implant to keep it in place.

If you currently smoke cigarettes, cigars, or a pipe, an implant procedure is a great time to give up the habit. Quitting smoking will have many health benefits, one of which will be better oral health.

Avoid Eating Sticky or Hard Foods After You Get Implants

After your dental implant surgery, you'll want to stick to a soft diet for about 5 to 7 days. A soft diet lets you get plenty of nutrients while ensuring that you don't consume any foods that could harm your new implant or prolong the recovery period.

During a soft diet, avoid any foods that are hard or sticky, such as:

  • chips, pretzels and crackers
  • carrots and celery
  • rare meats that are chewy, or well-done meats that are hard and tough
  • gum and taffy
  • almonds, peanuts, and cashews

Soft foods that generally are alright to eat include:

  • berries
  • nut butters (e.g. peanut butter or almond butter)
  • scrambled eggs
  • fruit juices and smoothies
  • oatmeal, bread, pasta, and rice

Review Your Daily Oral Hygiene Habits

It is, of course, important to practice good daily oral hygiene once you have a dental implant. Colgate recommends brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and using toothpaste that contains fluoride.

People generally know what proper oral hygiene is, but it's a good idea to review your brushing and flossing habits with your dentist. They'll be able to confirm what you're doing well, recommend any changes that are appropriate, and provide suggestions on how to brush and floss around a new implant. You can review these items either with the oral surgeon who installs your implant or your primary dentist.

Continue Seeing Your Primary Dentist

Once your implant is in place and your mouth has healed, you likely won't need to regularly see the oral surgeon who installed the implant. You should, however, continue to regularly see your primary dentist. While there is some variance, people on average should see a dentist semiannually.

Going to your primary dentist gives them a chance to clean your teeth and check for cavities. It also provides an opportunity for them to look at your implant. By looking at your implant every six months, your dentist will know how it should look and quickly recognize any oral health issues that develop and need to be addressed. Checking your implant should take just a moment during a routine teeth cleaning.

For more information, contact a dental clinic in your area, such as Family Dentistry Of Woodstock.