7 Tips to Care for Your Dental Implants

care for dental implants

San Francisco and Marin CA

When it comes to replacing missing teeth, dental implants are the preeminent option in restorative dentistry today. Once installed by a dentist who is trained and experienced in implant dentistry, a dental implant can repair your smile and last for a lifetime, if you practice good oral hygiene. Not sure how to maintain your implant? Never fear. Glen Park Dental has compiled this guide of seven tips to care for your dental implants in San Francisco.

What is a dental implant?

The key component of a dental implant is the implant itself, a titanium screw that is surgically positioned in your jawbone. Once the implant fuses with your jawbone, it replaces the root of your missing tooth. Your dentist then places a crown, which is color-matched to look like your other natural teeth, and connects it to the implant screw via an abutment.

7 tips to care for your dental implants

The great thing is, caring for your dental implants requires little to no drastic changes to your daily oral hygiene routine.

  1. Brush consistently. Most dentists suggest brushing an implant twice per day, just like you would your real teeth. Good oral hygiene is important, even after tooth loss. While cavities are not possible with implants, they can still accumulate food particles, bacteria, and plaque. So, continue to make brushing a top priority.
  2. Floss once a day. Cleaning the spaces around implants keeps your gums healthy. Alternatively, you may use an interdental brushes or a water flosser in lieu of regular dental floss.
  3. Avoid abrasive hygiene products. Hard-bristled toothbrushes or gritty toothpastes can actually damage teeth or the surfaces of dental restorations such as a crown over time.
  4. Steer clear of chewing hard items. You should only use your teeth to chew food, and never use them as tools. This rule should become ironclad if you have a dental implant. Dental implants restore your ability to enjoy your favorite foods. However, crunching down on ice or hard candies, or nibbling on writing utensils, can create issues.
  5. Stop smoking. The overall health risks of smoking are well-chronicled. Smoking also negatively impacts the overall health of your gums, which endangers your oral well-being in general. This can also delay the healing of your gums after dental implant surgery.
  6. Seek treatment for teeth grinding. Bruxism, the clinical term for teeth grinding, can cause excessive wear on your teeth and also take a toll on your implants. At Glen Park Dental, we can provide a dental night guard, which protects teeth from the damage of bruxism and can also help with headaches, jaw tension, and other issues.
  7. Schedule regular dental visits. Implants still require professional cleanings and consistent dental checkups. Follow the recommendations of the American Dental Association and maintain a regular schedule of dental visits every six months.

Dental Implants in San Francisco and Marin, California

Dental implants are often the perfect long-term solution for restoring your smile, confidence and for optimizing your oral health. However, they’re not ideal for all. For example, children should not receive implants, nor should adults that suffer from gum disease without first undergoing treatment to correct the condition. To learn more about dental implants, feel free to give our office a call at (415) 585-1500 to schedule a consultation.