Dental Implant Care Guide 

Dental implants with proper care and attention may last a lifetime. 

This comprehensive dental implant care guide will offer the following:  

  • Advice to follow immediately after a dental implant procedure 
  • Tips for keeping dental implants healthy and clean forever 
  • General guidelines for complete mouth dental implant care 

This guide is helpful for anyone looking for tips to care for their new dental implants, be it a single dental implant or implant-supported bridges.  

After-Surgery Dental Implant Care Tip 

The days and weeks after an implant procedure are the most critical. This is when your body works to repair gum and bone tissue at the implant sites. In addition, the implant requires time to fuse with the bone to offer support to your prosthesis. 

In most cases, recovery time after an implant is about 3 to 5 days.  

Here’s information on what you must do to care for your new implants.  

  • Do NOT pull stitches – Let stitches dissolve or fall out independently. Do not touch your stitches unless your dentist asks you to do this. Stitches fall out or dissolve within 7-10 days. Never try to remove your stitches on your own. 
  • Use ice – In case of swelling, use ice on the affected areas of the face. You can apply it for 20 minutes off on the initial days after the surgery. After the third day, you may switch to ice and heat application.  
  • Do NOT chew ice – When you want to reduce swelling and use ice, ensure to apply it to your face only. Do not place it into your mouth, and under no circumstance chew on it. 
  • Avoid over-care – Something over-inspecting the surgical site may disturb the healing process. If you pull at your cheeks or open your mouth wide, you may tear the surgical area that is still healing. 
  • Rinse with warm salt water – Wait for one day after the procedure before you begin salt water rinses. 
  • Practice gentle cleaning – You may brush your teeth after the surgery. However, it is essential to be gentle. Get a soft-bristle toothbrush and use it for days after the surgery until the area heals completely. Avoid swishing or spitting when cleaning your teeth.  
  • Do NOT over-clean the site - Over-cleaning is a common issue affecting the surgical area. Constantly touching the area may not help the healing process to go smoothly. Over-cleaning may turn something minor into a big problem. 
  • Change gauze – If your surgeon directs you, always change your gauze frequently. 
  • Do not use straws for the first 24 hours – Acts like sucking, spitting, and swishing can hinder the healing process, especially the day after the surgery. In addition, blood clots need to develop in the extraction site during this time. Not following this guideline may lead to a dry socket, prolonging your healing time. A dry socket is when a blood clot does not form, and the jawbone gets exposed to bacteria and air. This can give you throbbing jaw pain, and the pain can begin within 5-6 days after the procedure. As soon as this pain occurs, see your dentist immediately.  
  • Avoid soft drinks - Soft drinks may irritate healing and lead to the development of dry sockets. 
  • Only eat soft food - A soft food diet is best during healing. Even foods like lettuce can become too difficult to chew. 
  • Be careful when having hot foods and beverages - For the first day after the surgery, you may experience some numbness. To avoid burns in your mouth, do not consume things that are too hot, like coffee, tea, soups, and more. 
  • Don’t smoke - Smoking is bad for dental implants, and hence active smokers must avoid smoking to prevent the risk of infection after the surgery. In addition, smoking stops blood flowing to bone and tissue at the implant site, thus slowing the healing process. 
  • Chew gum – In some cases, patients may experience prolonged muscle stiffness and have difficulty opening their mouths. If this is the case, begin chewing gum periodically to allow the jaws to loosen up. 

Long-Term Dental Implant Care 

  • With routine maintenance and proper care, you can maintain the condition of your dental implants cost for a lifetime. Here are some tips to ensure the long-term care of your implants.  
  • Get a good water flosser – These simple devices can help eliminate build-up from all sides of your dental implants. In the case of full mouth implants, the small space between the bridge and the gums may collect food particles while eating. A water flosser can help remove this build-up easily. 
  • Quit smoking – This point is worth repeating because smoking is terrible for oral health. Smokers are more prone to infections and other oral health complications like tooth loss, implant failure, and more. Try to reduce your smoking habit first and then quit it entirely for better oral health care.  
  • Do NOT skip your cleanings – Your prosthetic teeth also require routine cleanings. Oral hygiene is the most important for dental implants. If you are a new dental implant patient, it is essential to get your implants cleaned by a professional dental hygienist frequently.  

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