Dental implants are primarily used as a means of allowing the patient to regain function in the teeth and mouth. That includes dental hygiene, too. However, caring for a dental implant requires a slightly different approach than caring for a natural tooth.
It’s more appropriate to use the term “maintenance” to describe all tasks that keep dental implants in shape and place, rather than merely “hygiene”. Despite this, caring for implants is usually easier than caring for any other tooth replacement solution.
After-surgery care is critical. Strictly stick to what your dental surgeon has recommended for you. Avoid hot and cold drinks, do not chew or allow food to the implant area. If you feel pain around the implant, do not try to adjust it. Take a painkiller. If that doesn’t help, refer to your dentist or surgeon. Under no circumstance allow any pressure on the implant for at least two weeks after the surgery.
Use dental hygiene products recommended by your dentist and dental surgeon. Though you will basically still use a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss and mouthwash, these can be slightly different depending on your unique situation. There are special products for caring for implants, or caring for mouths which have them. Your dental surgeon and dentist will monitor the situation after surgery and over long term and propose care products which would best support the implants. Never ignore these recommendations.
Do not miss check-ups. Although implants are a long-lasting treatment, the osseointegration process is critical, so is the stress implants experience during most patients’ everyday routine. Implants need to be occasionally checked for problems and possible wear and tear, so that an appropriate action can be taken in a timely manner.
Stop smoking! Smoking is causing harm to the entire body, and is detrimental for the implants too. Note that smoking shrinks the bone tissue which holds the implant, and causes it to become loose. On top of that, your gums will be weaker as well, and it’s not uncommon for smokers to have their implants fall out, despite the treatment, recovery and maintenance being successful. Also avoid drinking soda and other nutrients which are proven to be harmful for oral health.