Your dental implant may look and feel almost exactly like a natural tooth, but that doesn’t mean that the way you care for it is going to be exactly the same as the way you care for your other teeth. There are a few important things to know about keeping your dental implants clean so that you can prevent any damage to them and avoid any issues with your oral health.
Don’t worry, maintaining good oral hygiene when you have a dental implant is not too complicated if you know what to do. And if you don’t know what to do, just follow this quick and easy guide for info on how to clean a dental implant safely and effectively, all of the dental implant cleaning instruments you’ll want to have, and for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding this subject.
Why You Need to Clean Dental Implants
One of the main reasons we need to brush our teeth at least twice a day is to avoid tooth decay, but dental implants won’t decay like natural teeth, so then why is it important to keep them clean?
Well, your dental implants do share your mouth with natural teeth, so it’s important to brush and flush regularly to protect them from decay, but there’s more to it than that. Failing to care for your dental implant properly will result in a buildup of plaque around it. That plaque will eventually cause gingivitis, which will, in turn, lead to full-blown periodontitis or gum disease.
Gum disease can cause all kinds of issues with your oral health and has even been linked to serious health issues such as diabetes and heart disease. Practicing good oral hygiene with your dental implant can help you avoid these issues altogether.
Dental Implant Cleaning Methods
Now that you know how important it is to keep your dental implants clean, let’s take a look at exactly how to do that. These dental implant cleaning methods may sound familiar, as they’re essentially just regular oral hygiene tips, but be careful to notice the small differences related to the implants.
Brushing Twice a Day
You should always be brushing at least twice a day regardless of whether you have dental implants or not, but if you do have implants, you should be doing so with a soft-bristled toothbrush and low abrasion toothpaste. Implants are tough, but they’re not quite as tough as natural teeth. Take it easy on them with a more gentle brush and paste combo to keep them clean and safe.
Flossing Once a Day
Make sure you protect your gums by flossing out all of the plaque and food particles that your toothbrush can’t reach. No, you won’t damage or loosen your implant by doing this. You’ll only ensure that the gums surrounding it stay healthy.
Professional Dental Cleanings
You may be as meticulous as they come with your oral hygiene routine, but you should still be seeing your dentist once every six months for a routine checkup and cleaning. This ensures the health of your dental implants, your natural teeth, and the rest of your mouth in general.
Dental Implant Cleaning Instruments
There aren’t really any fancy at-home gadgets unique to dental implant cleaning, but there are a few different variations on standard oral hygiene products that are best to use when you have an implant. Below are some that you should consider.
- Soft bristle toothbrush or electric toothbrush
- Low abrasion toothpaste
- Water flosser
- Crown and bridge floss
Simply put, the products that are best suited for those with dental implants are ones that reduce the chance of damage, such as soft bristle toothbrushes and low abrasion toothpaste, and ones that help make flossing easier and more effective, like water flossers or crown and bridge floss. If you’d like to know more about these products, speak with your dentist.
Do Dental Implants Need to Come Out for Cleaning?
“Do dental implants need to come out for cleaning?” is a commonly asked question for new recipients of dental implants. However, dental implants are actually not removable, at least not in a way that would make it feasible to do so in order to clean it. The only reason you might remove your implant once it has been fixed into your mouth is if it has failed. Otherwise, you can and should keep it perfectly clean while attached to the abutment if you care for it properly.
Does a Dentist Need to Clean My Implants?
After learning how simple and familiar caring for your implants is going to be, you may be wondering, “does a dentist need to clean my implants, too?” The answer to that question is yes. Your dentist absolutely needs to clean your implants if you want to ensure good oral hygiene going forward.
Your dentist has special tools that can help them properly clean your implant and the area around it, but it won’t be too different from your typical dental cleaning at all. Just go to see them once every six months, stick to your oral hygiene routine, and you shouldn’t have any problems with your implant going forward.
Dental Implant Cleaning Costs
There are a few different dental implant cleaning costs to consider, but none of them extend too far beyond the regular cost of caring for your oral health. Soft bristle brushes are pretty much the same price as your standard toothbrush, but low abrasion toothpaste can actually be a few dollars more expensive than regular toothpaste.
You may also want to consider an electric toothbrush or water flosser, both of which may cost a bit upfront but ultimately save you money, as they are reusable.
Having your dental implants cleaned by a dentist won’t be any more expensive than your regular dental cleaning, as it’s essentially the same procedure. In the end, the biggest difference in expenses is the low abrasion of toothpaste, which will add up over time, but is well worth it if you consider the costs of replacing an implant that you can avoid by using it.
Take Great Care of Your Dental Implant with Glendale Periodontics
If you want to ensure that your dental implant stays safe and clean, contact Glendale Periodontics today to schedule an appointment.