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How to Care for Your Dental Implants

Dental implants offer many benefits. They are attractive and functional tooth replacements. You’ll have a beautifully restored smile. Plus, you can get back to eating all your favorite foods, whether you had to give them up because of tooth pain or inability to chew them with dentures. However, one of the best things about dental implants is that they can last forever. You can keep your dental implants for the rest of your life if you take care of them properly. 

When you get dental implants at Divine Smiles, Woburn and Winchester implant dentist Dr. Ryan Clancy will give you detailed care instructions–this blog is a basic reference that can help people who consider implants or who want a refresher on certain points. When in doubt, consult your detailed care guide, or contact us if you’re still not sure. 

mature adult woman smiling with teeth

Good Nutrition Builds a Sound Foundation for Dental Implants

Dental implants depend on your body’s bones for support and security. To ensure you continue to have healthy bones, you need to get all the vital nutrients your body needs to build and maintain your bones. Of course, this means ensuring you get enough calcium, but did you know that your bones also depend on phosphorus? Make sure you’re getting these vital minerals. Seafood, dairy, red meat, poultry, nuts, and beans are all good sources of phosphorus. Red meat is also a good source of vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, while leafy green vegetables can supply vitamin B9.

Similarly, while people know that they need vitamin D to help the body use calcium properly, many people don’t know that vitamin K is vitamin D’s close partner in using calcium. It’s a little harder to know if you’re getting enough vitamin K because many labels don’t tell you the vitamin K content of foods. You can get good amounts of vitamin K by eating leafy green vegetables like broccoli, collard greens, kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, and more. 

Consider Quitting Bad Habits That Put Implants at Risk

Another important way to help your implants last forever is to give up or cut back on lifestyle choices that can put your implants at risk. Smoking is one of the worst habits for dental implants. It can triple your risk of implant failure. Chewing tobacco and marijuana smoking can also impact your dental implants, but we don’t have as much data about the level of risk. 

Drinking alcohol can also be bad for dental implants. The risk is greatest immediately after implant surgery–you should avoid alcohol for 48 hours after surgery. After that, you should drink in moderation and also take steps to keep hydrated when drinking. 

If you play sports, even non-contact sports, at a recreational level, wear a mouthguard to protect your implants. 

Clean Your Teeth Properly

With dental implants, you will have to clean them regularly as you would natural teeth. This means brushing at least twice daily and flossing every day. Brush using toothpaste approved by your Woburn and Winchester implant dentist. Some toothpaste might be too abrasive for some implant restorations. Remember, dental implants can’t get cavities. You still want to remove dental plaque, though, because it can turn into unattractive deposits and can contribute to gum disease, which can lead to implant loss. 

When flossing, make sure you get around the implant and clean it thoroughly. If you’re having trouble, consult your Woburn and Winchester implant dentist about tools to make it easier. For some people, this might be something as simple as a floss threader, which helps you floss where you need it. You might also consider using a water flosser and/or interdental brushes, which can be easier to use and more effective. 

If your implant denture is removable, take it out for cleaning. Soak it periodically in an approved cleaner to make sure you get it clean without damaging it. 

When cleaning your implants, give them a quick inspection. Let your dentist know if you have red, inflamed, or painful tissue around your implants. Also, let them know if an implant seems to be loose. Natural teeth can have a little healthy wiggle, but dental implants should be held firmly in place. 

Make Regular Dental Appointments

Finally, it’s important to get regular dental checkups to ensure your implants remain healthy and functional. If your general dentist is not the same as your Woburn and Winchester implant dentist, make sure the hygienist knows you have implants. Otherwise, they might use tools that can damage your implants. 

Most of the time, you just need to keep the same appointment schedule: two appointments a year. However, if you lost your teeth for reasons that put your implants at high risk of failure, your Woburn and Winchester implant dentist might recommend more frequent checkups. 

At your checkups, your dentist might recommend changes to your hygiene routine or diet to help keep your implants healthy. 

Get Dental Implants in Woburn and Winchester

As you can see, it’s not hard to take care of dental implants. If you do this, your implants might stay firmly in place for 50 years or more–we honestly don’t know how long they might last. 

Want to talk to Woburn and Winchester implant dentist Dr. Ryan Clancy about getting implants for yourself? Please call (781) 396-8558 or use our online form to schedule an appointment at Divine Smiles, serving the Woburn and Winchester, MA. We’re in the Horn Pond Plaza, across from Whole Foods. 

By Ryan M. Clancy, DMD, MAGD, LVIF, FPFA, FIAPA | December 7th, 2022 | Dental Implants

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