Habits That May Damage Your Dental Implants

habits that damage dental implants

If you have recently invested in dental implants to fill any gaps in your mouth, then chances are you want those implants to last. After all, getting an implant – not only for aesthetic purposes but also for functional purposes – comes at quite the investment. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that their everyday habits can significantly impact the longevity of their implanted teeth. In this blog post we will review some recommendations to follow and habits to avoid that may damage your dental implants!

Use a toothbrush with soft bristles

Toothbrushes with soft bristles are recommended for people with dental implants. Dental implants typically consist of a titanium post surgically inserted into the bone and provide an anchor point for replacement teeth. The implants in implant-supported dentures or in All-on-4 implants alone can not prevent tooth decay or gum disease, so proper oral hygiene habits are essential to protect your investment.

Soft-bristled toothbrushes offer several advantages over regular, medium, or hard toothbrush varieties when caring for your dental implants. Soft bristles are less abrasive on the surface of surrounding teeth and the gums, which may help reduce enamel erosion while brushing around the implant site. They are also gentle enough not to damage the implant restoration above or below the gum line. In addition, soft-bristled toothbrushes are less likely to cause gum recession, which can create an environment for plaque and bacteria to accumulate around the implant crown.

When choosing a toothbrush with soft bristles, ensure that the brush head is small enough to reach all areas of your mouth, particularly those around the implant site. Soft-bristled brushes are also more effective in removing plaque from hard-to-reach surfaces like molars and bicuspids. Additionally, when selecting a toothbrush, look for one with rounded or flexible ends to minimize trauma to gums.

Adopt the daily habit of Flossing

Flossing daily is important habit to maintaining good oral hygiene and can help prevent damage to your dental implants. Dental implants are artificial teeth placed in the jawbone, typically made from metal or ceramic materials. They act as replacements for missing natural teeth, providing a more permanent solution than dentures or bridges.

However, like natural teeth, dental implants require regular care and attention. Flossing is important in keeping your dental implants healthy by preventing plaque buildup and bacteria that can lead to gum disease and decay around the implant area.

Avoid Abrasive Toothpaste

One of the worst habits that can damage your dental implants is using abrasive toothpaste. Abrasive toothpaste can damage the implant’s surface and lead to poor functioning over time.

Using an abrasive toothpaste on your dental implant can cause it to become scratched or pitted, which will reduce its effectiveness and cause discomfort when chewing. In addition, these tiny scratches may also serve as a breeding ground for bacteria which can further deteriorate the condition of your implant and increase the risk of infection.

To ensure that your dental implant remains in good condition, it is recommended to use mild toothpaste for cleaning. Mild toothpaste is specifically designed to provide gentle yet effective cleaning and contain safe ingredients for dental implants. It is also important to brush your implant gently, as vigorous brushing can cause damage or wear away the implant’s surface over time.

Avoid hard, hot, or sticky foods.

Eating Hard food items such as candy, nuts, ice, and popcorn kernels are habits that can chip or damage the implant surface. Even biting an apple could prove difficult if you just had an implant placed. 

If you eat something too hot, such as boiling soup or very spicy food, right after receiving a dental implant, it may cause pain and even damage the implant. You should let your food cool down before eating it and be careful not to burn your mouth.

Sticky or chewy foods like caramel, taffy, gum and dried fruit can pull on the dental implants causing them to come loose. Additionally, these foods are more difficult to clean off the implants, which may lead to an increased risk of infection.

Avoiding hard, hot, or sticky foods can protect your dental implants from any harm and ensure they last for many years. Remember that it is important to follow all instructions given by your dentist when considering any dental treatment to maximize its effectiveness and longevity.

Quit smoking

Quitting smoking can help protect your dental implants and ensure they last longer. If you’re considering getting dental implants or already have them, quitting smoking is the best way to ensure they last as long as possible. Smoking is a habit that can greatly damage dental implants’ success rate and increase your risk of complications like infection.

When nicotine enters your bloodstream, it quickly reaches your gums, which slows down the healing process after implant surgery. This can lead to increased pain and swelling and slower healing times due to reduced blood flow. Smoking also increases a person’s risk for gum disease, which can cause damage to the surrounding teeth and tissues that support an implant.

In addition to all of these risks, smoking can cause teeth staining. This is especially problematic for those with dental implants since they are permanent and do not respond to whitening treatments like natural teeth.

Finally, smoking increases the risk of implant failure. Smoking narrows blood vessels, reducing the amount of oxygen your gums receive and hindering their ability to heal quickly after surgery. Without proper healing time, a dental implant may fail or become loose in its socket and eventually have to be removed.

Visit your dentist regularly.

Visiting your dentist regularly is one of the best ways to ensure that your dental implants remain healthy, strong, and long-lasting. Dental implants are a great alternative to traditional dentures and can improve your quality of life. However, they require regular maintenance and checkups with your dentist to protect them from any damage or infection.

When you visit your dentist for routine exams and cleanings, they will be able to assess the condition of your implant and identify any areas where it may be at risk for damage or infection. Your dentist will also advise on properly caring for your implant at home, including brushing techniques and flossing habits.
Dental implants are a fantastic way to restore your smile after tooth loss, but it’s important to know how to take care of them to avoid any damage. Be sure to brush and floss regularly, avoid chewing on hard objects, and see PFLUGERVILLE FAMILY DENTISTRY for check-ups, located near you in Austin. With proper care, your dental implants can last a lifetime! Contact us now!

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