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Top Tips to Keep Your Dental Implants Clean

October 20, 2022

Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth -- and in some cases, to restore the appearance of your entire smile. Thanks to the proprietary materials alongside cutting-edge technology, dental implants will often last for decades if cared for properly. Having said this, keeping your implants clean is crucial if you wish to avoid any issues in the future. What practical measures can you take? Are there any common mistakes to avoid? Whether you have recently been fitted with dental implants -- or you are simply hoping to learn proper cleaning techniques --the suggestions outlined below will come in handy.

Brushing Techniques

One common misconception involves the belief that implants don’t require much cleaning because they are impervious to cavities. On the contrary, nothing could be further from the truth. Harmful bacteria can still accumulate -- and this may lead to other issues such as gum disease. It is therefore wise to brush your implants twice each day (once in the morning and once again before heading off to bed). Although implants are quite durable, they can still become scratched or worn down if you brush too vigorously. Therefore, make it a point to apply an even amount of gentle pressure. Some professionals likewise recommend purchasing an electric toothbrush. The settings on these devices can be adjusted and they will make certain that no plaque or bacteria remains.

Floss with Care

Professionals also recommend flossing on a daily basis. Floss can help to remove any stubborn food particles that might otherwise remain trapped between the implants. However, the exact technique will be slightly different when compared to flossing natural teeth. One issue is that extremely aggressive flossing can sometimes lead to a condition referred to as "peri-implantitis". This situation involves an inflammation of the gums and even the bone tissue that are found close to the base of the implant. If left untreated, peri-implantitis may develop into a more serious situation known as hyperplasia (the implant itself becoming loose). It is therefore wise to floss with extreme care. Also, be sure to avoid flossing below the gum line. You should instead focus your efforts around either side of the implant. Some professionals likewise suggest purchasing a water flosser, as these devices are more gently and they can be controlled to a greater extent.

Should Mouthwash be Used?

Most dentists recommend rinsing with mouthwash at least once each day. This is also a prudent step to take if you have dental implants. Mouthwash can remove additional food particles and it will also help to prevent the buildup of bacteria between the implants and the gum line. There are also some types of mouthwash that contain whitening ingredients; enabling your implants to retain their original brilliant lustre.

Are Whitening Agents Permitted if You Have Dental Implants?

The good news is that dental implants have been manufactured from durable materials that normally retain their colour over long periods of time. However, there may still be instances when their surfaces can become stained. Here are some substances that can lead to discolouration:

  • Coffee and tea
  • Red wine
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Certain fruit juices (such as cranberry)
  • Carbonated beverages including soda

In any of these cases, you might be considering an over-the-counter whitening agent.Before using the whitener, consult with your dentist. He or she will decide upon the best course of action based on where the implant is located. For instance, implants found at the rear of the mouth may not necessarily benefit from whitening. However, any highly visible implants (such as those used to replace one or more front teeth) may indeed benefit from this procedure. Simply stated, the ultimate decision will be based off of practicality as well as visual aesthetics.

Toothpastes Designed for Dental Implants

As a general rule of thumb, most common toothpastes will effectively remove food particles and bacteria. This will help to prevent plaque from forming while ensuring that your implants do not change colour. However, it may still be a good idea to search for a non-abrasive toothpaste. The theory here is that abrasion may eventually lead to microscopic pitting on the surface of the implants. These scratches are more likely to trap tiny particulate matter; potentially leading to a certain degree of discolouration. Some of the top implant-friendly toothpastes include:

  • Colgate Total
  • Crest Pro-Health
  • Sensodyne ProNamel
  • Arm and Hammer Dental Care Advance
  • Crest Tartar Protection

It is also wise to avoid any toothpaste that contains over-the-counter whitening agents. These tend to be abrasive and can sometimes lead to the issues outlined above. As mentioned previously, check with a dentist about whitening.

Visit Your Dentist on a Regular Basis

Although dental implants are built to last, the fact is that they will still suffer wear and tear over the years. This is why it is a good idea to schedule regular appointments with your dentist. He or she will be able to check for small problems so that they can be corrected before they evolve into more serious situations. In the same respect, make it a point to seek advice at the first sign of trouble (such as swelling near the base of the implant or if you happen to notice a small chip). Numerous targeted solutions are available.

Cleanliness is Next to (Dental) Godliness

Keeping your dental implants clean is not a complicated process. Still, all of the suggestions mentioned above should be followed on a regular basis so that they become habits over time. With a bit of oversight, these appliances can provide you with a brilliant smile that will last a lifetime!Sources:


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