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Dental Implant Upkeep: Keeping Your Permanent Teeth Secure for Years

Dental implants can provide a secure foundation for stability and function much like natural teeth. However, it’s important to properly care for your implants and surrounding tissues to ensure they remain healthy for many years. Here are some key tips for dental implant upkeep:

  • Regular Cleanings – Schedule routine professional cleanings every 3-4 months. Your dental hygienist will properly clean and polish around the implants to remove plaque and tatar buildup. This prevents inflammation and infection of the implant tissues.
  • Homecare – Brush at least twice daily using a soft-bristled brush and interdental brushes or floss for hard-to-reach areas. Gently brush all tooth and implant surfaces. Replace your toothbrush every 2-3 months.
  • Mouthwash – Use an antiseptic mouthwash after brushing to further reduce bacteria in the mouth. This helps keep gum tissues and implant components clean. 
  • Diet – Be mindful of sticky, sugary foods that can lead to cavities and irritation around implants. Limit snacking between meals when possible. 
  • Chewing Surface – Distribute chewing forces evenly across all chewing teeth or implants. Avoid excess force on one side to prevent overload.
  • Replace Broken Restorations – If a crown, denture tooth, or other restoration fractures, seek prompt treatment. Delay can cause damage to the implant or supporting bone.
  • Monitor Signs of Problems – Contact your dentist if you notice pain, swelling, redness, bleeding, or loosening around implants. Early treatment prevents future bone and tissue loss. 
  • Annual X-rays – Get bitewing or full mouth X-rays annually to check for any signs of peri-implantitis (bone loss) or cracks in implant components. Problems are much easier to treat at the onset. 
  • Tobacco Cessation – Quitting smoking and oral tobacco can significantly improve implant prognosis by preventing inflammation and complications.  

 

  • Adjustments as Needed – As gum tissues shrink with aging, implants may feel less stable. Your dentist can make minor relines or adjustments to enhance fit and function long-term.

 

By keeping up with regular self-care and professional maintenance, dental implants can have service lives rivaling natural teeth. Preventive steps reduce the risk of future bone loss, infection, or implant loss. An investment in proper cleaning goes a long way toward keeping your permanent teeth secure and restoring confidence with every smile.

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