Cleaning & Maintenance
Whilst dental implants look, feel and behave like natural teeth, they require careful cleaning and maintenance in order to secure their long-term success.
The most important part to look after is the area between the gum and the tooth (crown). This must be kept scrupulously clean to avoid inflammation which can lead to implant failure. The modern electric toothbrush has been scientifically proven to be better at removing plaque (the main cause of inflammation). Be careful not to damage the gum around your implant; you need only apply firm, not excessive, pressure. Don’t forget to clean the back/inside of your implant, which is easily missed if you are in a rush!
For manual toothbrush users, ensure the head is not so large that it can’t clean in and around all the surfaces of the implant. Bristles should be soft or medium – try to avoid hard bristles. Do not use a vigorous scrubbing action. You should also consider using specially designed implant brushes which have smaller, angled heads that clean in and around all surfaces of the implant. These are an inexpensive way to clean around your implant effectively. It is also important to see your hygienist on a regular basis.
Cleaning between the teeth:
Interdental brushes are described by some dental hygienists as “miracle workers” because they allow you to clean where your toothbrush cannot – between the teeth. These little brushes come in different shapes and sizes, and when dipped in an antiseptic mouthwash before use, they significantly enhance the removal of plaque.
As an alternative you can use dental floss to clean the spaces in between the teeth. If you are bewildered by the array of flosses and brushes available today, we would be more than happy to advise you on the type best suited to your mouth and how best to use them – please just ask!
Mouthwashes are also excellent for your oral health. Again, there are a myriad of products available and we will be able to advise you on which one is best suited to your needs. Routine dental check-ups and hygienist visits are vital to maintain a healthy mouth, prolonging the life of your implant as well as your own natural teeth. Finally, the single biggest cause of implant failure is smoking. So if are a smoker and you want to stay healthy and keep your teeth, consider quitting!