How to Maintain Healthy Implants
Once Dr. Kovacevic has placed your dental implant, how long it lasts mostly depends on you. The foods you eat, the oral care products you choose, and a variety of other factors all play a part in determining the long-term success of your restoration.
Explore our guide to learn some helpful guidelines for post-op implant care.
The Week Following Implant Surgery
The first week after your surgery is the most important phase of the dental implant process. During this time, it’s crucial that you exercise extreme caution to avoid setting your treatment back.
Dr. Kovacevic especially recommends keeping the following tips in mind:
- Don’t eat tough, chewy, or sticky foods — Tough foods like steak and bagels, as well as chewy or sticky foods like gummies and caramel, can infect your surgical site and ruin your implant. Stick to a diet of soft foods and clear liquids for at least a few days after surgery.
- Don’t spit or use a straw — Any type of forceful spitting or suction puts pressure on the implant site, potentially creating a painful condition called dry socket and setting back the healing process.
- Don’t drink alcohol or smoke — Drinking alcohol and smoking are both habits that dry out your mouth and reduce your blood flow. Resist the temptation to drink or smoke for at least the first few days after your implant is placed.
- Rinse with salt water — Starting the day after your surgery, rinse your mouth with warm salt water two to three times per day to reduce inflammation. For the best results, rinse after you finish eating meals.
Long-Term Implant Care
Once your surgical site is healed, caring for dental implants becomes much easier. Follow these simple instructions to help your implant stay healthy and beautiful for the rest of your life.
Dental implants are resistant to decay, but you still need to take care of your surrounding teeth and gums. If the tissue around your implant gets infected, it can lead to a condition called peri-implantitis that may threaten the health of your implant.
In addition, neglecting your oral hygiene will likely lead to further issues that will cost you additional time and money down the line. To prevent this, brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day to rid your mouth of bacteria.
Choosing the Right Oral Care Products
Dental implants can be cleaned just like natural teeth. Unlike dentures, you don’t need to use any special cleaning solutions to maintain them. However, it’s helpful to keep a few things in mind when choosing your oral care products.
Dr. Kovacevic recommends the following for optimal results:
- Toothbrush — Use a soft-bristled brush to avoid scratching your implant fixture or irritating your gums.
- Toothpaste — Stay away from brands with abrasive ingredients, such as those made for teeth whitening and smokers.
- Floss — Nylon-coated floss is best for working in between and around your implant.
- Mouthwash — Use an antibacterial mouthwash that doesn’t contain alcohol to prevent drying out your mouth.
Visit Dr. Kovacevic for Regular Checkups
The last important step of keeping your implants healthy is scheduling dental checkups with Dr. Kovacevic every six months. In addition to cleaning and polishing your teeth, Dr. Kovacevic will use these visits to examine your implant and check for any potential issues that could threaten its success.
Call our office at 724-834-2089 and schedule your consultation today.