Maintain Your Implants for a Beautiful Smile
After your procedure is complete, the success of your dental implants largely depends on you. The foods you eat, the dental care products you choose, and other factors all contribute to the long-term health of your new teeth.
Explore our guide to learns some valuable tips for dental implant care.
The Week After Surgery
During the first few days after surgery, it’s especially important to be cautious with your new implants. Before you leave our office, Dr. Sager will provide you with some crucial guidelines to keep in mind:
- Avoid tough, sticky, or chewy foods — Tough foods such as steak, raw vegetables, and hard bread can hurt your implant while it’s still healing. Chewy or sticky foods like caramel and taffy should also be avoided. Stick with soft foods and clear liquids for at least a few days before slowly reintroducing your favorite foods.
- Rinse with salt water — Rinsing your mouth with salt water two to three times per day will help keep your surgical area clean and reduce inflammation. We especially recommend rinsing after you eat meals.
- Don’t spit or use a straw — Forceful spitting or suction puts pressure on your implant and delays the healing process. Though it may be a habit, it’s very important that you don’t use a straw when drinking liquids.
- Don’t drink alcohol or smoke — If you’re a regular smoker or drinker, you’ll need to abstain for at least the first few days after surgery. Both of these activities reduce your blood flow and dry out your mouth, negatively affecting the healing process.
Long-Term Implant Care
After you’ve fully recovered from surgery, caring for your implants becomes much easier. If you follow these simple tips, your new smile can stay beautiful for a lifetime.
Oral Hygiene Routine
The most important thing you can do for your implants is maintain a healthy oral care routine. If the tissue around your implant becomes infected, this can lead to peri-implantitis and eventually result in implant failure.
To prevent this from occurring, brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day and floss at least once a day to eliminate bacteria from your mouth. Complete your hygiene routine by rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash to remove any remaining debris.
Choosing the Right Oral Care Products
Dental implants can be cleaned just like your natural teeth. However, it’s beneficial to keep a few factors in mind when choosing your oral care products.
For healthy, long-lasting implants, we recommend the following:
- Toothbrush — Use a soft-bristled brush to avoid irritating your gums or possibly scratching your implant post.
- Toothpaste — Stay away from toothpastes with abrasive ingredients, such as brands made for whitening or smokers.
- Floss — We recommend nylon-coated floss for gently cleaning between your implants.
- Mouthwash — Avoid brands that contain alcohol, as these can dry out your mouth.
Visit Central Texas Dental Care for Check-Ups
The final step to keeping your implants healthy is visiting our practice at least twice a year for regular check-ups. In addition to cleaning your teeth, Dr. Sager will use these appointments to examine your implants and ensure there’s no issues that could threaten their success.
Contact our practice in Hewitt today and schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What sorts of foods should I eat during my recovery?
We recommend eating soft foods after a dental implant procedure to reduce the strain of chewing with your tender gums. Soft pasta dishes and soups can be good options, but make sure they’ve cooled before eating. Hot foods can damage the healing tissue in your mouth, especially if you are still experiencing numbness from treatment.
Cold desserts and smoothies are always a popular post-op treat — they’ll be comfortable to eat and provide cooling relief to your gums. Your dentist will talk to you before your surgery and make sure you know what foods are safe to eat during your recovery.
How can I manage pain and discomfort after my dental implant procedure?
While you shouldn’t expect severe pain after your surgery, it’s normal to experience some discomfort as the body heals. In most cases, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications are enough to alleviate pain symptoms. Your doctor will discuss pain management options with you in advance of your procedure and may prescribe painkillers if you’re receiving extensive treatment.
If you’re concerned that you’re experiencing unusual levels of pain after surgery, contact us to report your symptoms.
What can I do to reduce swelling after surgery?
You’ll likely experience some swelling and bruising of the face after your dental implant surgery. Anti-inflammatory medication will help reduce swelling along with any pain or discomfort.
An ice pack, wrapped in a towel, can be applied to swollen areas of the face for additional relief. Do not apply ice directly to your skin — this can cause damage to the area, especially while you are still experiencing numbness.
Even if you have implants on both sides of your jaw, it’s normal to experience more swelling or discomfort on one side than the other. It can be helpful to sleep with your head propped up to allow blood to naturally drain away from swollen areas of the face. Symptoms of swelling will subside within a few days of treatment.