Implants are the gold standard for missing teeth replacement. Implants do not use other teeth to hold them in place like dental bridges. They are ossified into your jaw bone. They become part of the patient’s body.
If well taken care of, they can last a lifetime. They are the ultimate restoration of comfort, function and cosmetics. Knowing the “Dos and Don’ts” of their long-term care is essential for their success.
Ongoing Care Tips And Tricks
1. Brush Twice Daily for Two Minutes
The key is to use a SOFT nylon bristle brush. Power brushes like “Sonicare” are good, and they must be used on low or sensitive settings.
2. Do NOT Use Metal Objects to Clean the Implants
Implants are composed of titanium, so using any metal object to clean them will cause damage.
3. Avoid Abrasive Products
Use less abrasive fluoride toothpaste, Sensodyne. If using mouthwash, an alcohol-free option like Act Fluoride Rinse is a good choice. Avoid products with intense flavors, such as mint and cinnamon.
4. Floss Twice Daily
There is special dental implant tape for this, or you can use unwaxed floss. Plaque can easily accumulate around implants. Sometimes we see small amounts of inflammation — or peri mucositis — around the implant. This is easily treated by having a cleaning and developing proper homecare procedures. It is completely reversible. But if left untreated, it could develop into peri-implantitis, which is a more serious condition that can cause bone loss around the implant and endanger the implant’s longevity.
5. Avoid Sticky Hard Foods
Foods to avoid eating include ice, caramel, candy apples, hard candies like Jawbreakers and Rock Candy, hard shell tacos and hard bread.
6. Do NOT Smoke
Doing so has the potential to damage the implants.
7. Avoid Alcohol
Avoid consuming alcohol for six months after implant placement and proceed with moderate consumption thereafter.
8. Regular Twice-a-Year Checkups and Cleanings
At 172 NYC Dental, we treat mouths with implants routinely. The instruments we use for cleaning implants are special, dedicated only to implant cases. They are made of plastic and titanium and no metal touches the implant in our office.
9. Wear a Night Guard
If you grind or clench your teeth — also referred to as bruxism — you must wear a nightguard to prevent horizontal forces from disturbing the osseous integration between the jaw bone and the Implant.
Tips For After Implant Placement
- Bite on gauze or a wet tea bag for 30 minutes if there is any oozing or bleeding
- Ice the area, 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off, for the first 24-36 hours after insertion
- Keep your head elevated, even when sleeping
- Sleep on your back for the first day and sleeping on your side is OK after 24 hours. Do not sleep on your stomach.
- No vigorous exercise for two weeks — do not bend your head below your shoulders.
- Walking is OK after the first 24 hours post-insertion
- Take prescriptions faithfully
- No rinsing for the first 24 hours
- Eat soft foods like applesauce, egg whites, soups, shakes and pasta
Tips Prior to Implant Placement
Choose an experienced dental specialist such as an implantologist, periodontist, or oral surgeon. You’ll need to review your medical history carefully — some diseases and habits must be addressed before implant placement can take place. These can include diseases such as:
- Gum Disease
- Radiation of the Jawbone
- Suppressed Immune System
It is also important to address habits such as:
- Chewing Ice or Tobacco
- Eating Hard Foods
- Exercising Too Quickly After Implant Placement
- Not Reporting a Dental Problem With the Implant Quickly Enough
Trust your doctor and implant team to communicate and guide you through the process.
Looking to Get Tooth Implant?
172 NYC Dental specializes in implant dentistry. From the very beginning to the happy conclusion you will be guided by our implant team. Dr. Jin Wang is our board-certified implantologist/periodontist who will gently, expertly place your implants into your jaw. Dr. Benjamin Ifraimov heads our cosmetic dentistry department and will restore the implant with an abutment (post) and a beautiful porcelain crown. Visit us and let us restore your smile with harmony, function, and long-term care and commitment.