You had been living with a missing tooth for years and finally decided to get a dental implant. You went through the initial placement, waited patiently for your permanent crown, and finally completed the process. You’re excited and want to make sure that you keep your implant for decades to come.

Dental implants are an investment in both your appearance and your health, so it’s important to take proper care of your implant. Just like your natural teeth, neglecting your implant could ultimately end up in its failure. During the COVID-19 pandemic, very few dental offices are open for regular cleanings, so it’s vital to maintain great oral hygiene. If you have dental implants in Jacksonville, follow these tips from a dentist to make sure that you’re taking amazing care of them.

Treat It Like a Tooth

One of the best things about dental implants is that they function just like your natural teeth. From the root to the crown, they’re the closest you can get to having a natural tooth. Given that, implants need to be cared for just like the rest of your teeth. Even though your implant is made of titanium, poor oral hygiene can cause the supporting bone structure to deteriorate. If you want to keep your implant, consider the following oral hygiene advice.

Maintain Your Daily Habits

It’s important to keep brushing and flossing twice daily. Caring for your implant just like the rest of your teeth will help to ensure that you’re removing plaque and bacteria from the surrounding area. It may even be advisable to brush and floss after each meal.

Limit Abrasiveness

You want to make sure that you’re cleaning your implant properly while still being gentle with it. A soft-bristled toothbrush will do an effective job of cleaning tartar and plaque from your teeth while limiting the abrasion and potential gum recession that come from medium and hard-bristled toothbrushes. Additionally, look for a toothpaste without abrasive ingredients like baking soda. Abrasive toothpastes may diminish some of your implant’s sheen and make it look less natural.

Adding to Your Oral Hygiene Arsenal

In addition to traditional brushing and flossing, you can add a few small steps and items to your hygiene regimen to take even better care of your implant:

  • Crown and Bridge Floss: This floss is specially designed to be used with dental implants. It is made of two stiff ends and a fuzzy middle to thoroughly clean around your implant and keep any food particles from becoming lodged inside the crown of your implant.
  • Water Flosser: Most commonly referred to by the brand name Waterpik, water flossers offer many benefits. They are safe to use on dental implants and are highly effective in clearing particles from in between teeth. They get deeper into your gums’ pockets than traditional floss and can help you avoid an inflammatory disease called peri-implantitis which puts implants at risk.

You want your implants to last for a very long time. Even though they’re built to last, taking excellent care of implants at home in between dental cleanings will set you up for success, especially until your dental office reopens. Vigilant brushing, traditional flossing, and water flossing should be an integral part of your routine. Respect your investment and you’ll stay smiling from ear to ear.

About the Author

Dr. Jignesh Patel puts his patients first. He doesn’t believe in one-size-fits-all dentistry and takes great pride in providing dental options for all needs. A graduate of Nova Southeastern University, Dr. Patel is constantly continuing his education and maintaining a standard of excellence at the Dental Center of Jacksonville. He understands how uncomfortable it can be to live with a missing tooth and makes the implant process as comfortable, easy, and efficient as possible. If you’d like to learn more about implants or implant care, he is happy to advise you over email or by phone at (904) 300-2876.