Recent reports indicate that almost 160 million people across the United States are missing at least one tooth.
Though they have several options for replacing those teeth, including dentures, partials, and bridges, implants are quickly gaining popularity.
According to recent figures from the American Dental Association, an estimated five million people per year have dental implants put into place.
This solution provides a permanent and effective replacement for missing teeth while looking and functioning like real teeth.
If you’re among the millions of people who have implants or are considering them, understanding how to care for them properly is the key to their longevity.
1) Keep Up with Routine Dental Visits
Visiting your Family Dentist at least twice a year for cleanings and checkups is essential to maintaining optimal dental health.
This is true whether you have all your natural teeth or implants.
At these visits, your dentist can make sure the implants are still in good shape and your jawbones remain strong enough to support them.
If any problems arise with the implants, routine visits will allow the dentist to catch them early and resolve them before they have a chance to progress.
2) Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Good oral hygiene is crucial for everyone, including those who have dental implants.
Be sure to brush at least twice daily to remove plaque buildup on the teeth, food particles between them, and excess bacteria in the mouth.
This will help keep your implants looking and functioning at their best while preventing bad breath, gum infections, periodontitis, and other oral issues.
3) Floss Regularly
Experts recommend flossing after every meal, but that’s not always practical or even possible.
At the very least, be sure to floss once daily to remove bacteria and buildup between the teeth and implants that toothbrushes just can’t reach.
This will help prolong the life of your implants while also protecting your remaining natural teeth against damage and decay.
4) Smoke and Drink in Moderation
Cigarettes stain the teeth, and smoking can lead to gum disease, among other dental issues.
Alcohol contains high volumes of sugars that cause tooth decay and promote bacteria growth.
Both can cause dry mouth, which further sparks bacteria growth and other problems.
None of these elements are good for oral health, so if you smoke or drink, do so in moderation.
Also Read: Tips for Personal Dental Hygiene
5) Stay Away from Certain Foods
Some foods just aren’t conducive to tooth health.
This is particularly true of hard and sticky foods. Sticky foods can damage dental work, and hard foods are notorious for causing teeth to crack and break.
They can have the same effect on dental implant crowns, so try to avoid those types of foods when possible.
Otherwise, you may need to have the crowns on your implants replaced.
Taking Care of Your Dental Implants
In a nutshell, dental implants require the same types of care as your natural teeth.
Visit your dentist twice per year, brush and floss regularly, and try to stay away from cigarettes, alcohol, damaging foods, and other dental hazards.
This will help ensure that your gums, natural teeth, and jawbones remain healthy while supporting your implants, so they’ll last a lifetime.
The crowns on your implants are designed to last at least ten to fifteen years before needing to be replaced, and taking all these measures will aid in making them serve you well for as long as possible.
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