digital illustration of dental implant in boneThose who choose dental implants as their teeth replacement option can attest to the success of these restorations. In fact, implants offer the highest long-term success rate of any alternative replacement on the market. Part of keeping your dental implants healthy for the long haul is practicing good oral hygiene. Today, our Denver dental team at Metropolitan Dental Care discusses the importance of dental implant maintenance and offers tips for keeping your smile healthy for a lifetime.

Aren’t Dental Implant Just Like Natural Teeth?

Yes and no. They are like natural teeth because they are firmly rooted into the jawbone, allowing patients to eat, chew, and speak normally. However, a dental implant has a conical shape, unlike a natural tooth root. The materials used to make the implants also differ from your natural teeth. Therefore, your dentist or hygienist may recommend a few tips and tricks to help you clean your dental implants more effectively.

The Importance of Proper Dental Implant Hygiene

Many individuals assume that, because implants are made of titanium and porcelain, they are invulnerable to any sort of oral health issues. However, it is important to understand that the supporting bone and gum around the implants can still become inflamed. In the same way that natural teeth can be affected by gingivitis and periodontitis, implants can develop mucositis or peri-implantitis. These conditions occur when bacteria causes an infection around the implant. As the infection erodes the bone, the implant becomes more and more mobile. If left untreated, it can lead to total implant failure.

How Can I Care for My Dental Implants?

Fortunately, cleaning your dental implants isn’t all that different from cleaning your natural teeth. You may require a few specialized tools, such as interproximal brushes or dental picks, however. A dental implant can be flossed, as well. It simply necessitates a slightly different technique. For example, the floss can be wrapped around the implant and crisscrossed in the front. Next, hold the two ends of the floss and move it in a “shoeshine” motion. This will help remove plaque, tartar, and debris from around the circumference of the implant.

Of course, patients with dental implants must brush at least twice a day. To avoid damaging your restorations, we recommend using a non-abrasive toothpaste. It’s also a good idea to use an antibacterial mouthwash to reduce harmful microbes and keep your breath fresh.

How Often Should I Visit the Dentist?

Every dental patient should attend regular cleanings and examinations. This goes for those with or without dental implants. Your cleaning schedule will be determined by your doctor based on your unique oral health needs. Most patients receive cleanings every six months. However, some may need more frequent visits, especially those who are more prone to gum disease or decay.

During a consultation at our practice, we will assess the health of your natural teeth as well as any restorations. In addition to determining a proper cleaning schedule, we can help you develop an appropriate at-home hygiene regimen to meet your needs.

Contact Our Practice to Learn More

Want more information on keeping your smile healthy for years to come? Contact your Denver dentist today. Metropolitan Dental Care has been a part of our community for over 30 years. We’re proud to offer our services to the areas of Denver, Parker, Highlands Ranch, and Centennial. Give us a call at 303-534-2626 or contact us online.