If you're missing teeth and want to replace them, or if you currently wear dentures or a bridge, one option to permanently enhance your smile is dental implants. Dental implants consist of an artificial tooth that your dentist will place by inserting a screw-like post into your jawbone. To ensure maximum longevity for your dental implants, it's important to follow these guidelines to maintain them.
1. Follow Your Dentist's Recommended Dental Routine
Talk to your dentist regarding what kind of routine they suggest for caring for your implants. Though it's conventionally recommended for patients to go to the dentist twice a year for a cleaning and examination, your dentist might want you to go more frequently if you're at a high risk for tooth decay or gum disease. You should also brush and floss your teeth twice a day, using products suggested by your dentist.
If you don't adhere to a regular dental routine, you might suffer complications with your implants. Your implants can start to bleed, and if left untreated, this bleeding can even lead to gum disease that can eventually progress to bone loss.
Bone loss can potentially compromise the structural integrity of your implants. Regular dental visits will increase the likelihood that you can detect any potential issues as early as possible.
2. Be Careful Chewing Hard Items
Chewing and eating hard food items is risky for any type of tooth, but it's particularly dangerous for implants. The hardness of the item can cause your implant to break.
Avoid crunching on ice or hard candy; if you like to eat these items, just let them dissolve in your mouth naturally. Don't use your teeth to break the shells open on nuts. Popcorn is another food to watch out for. Though it's typically okay to eat, make sure that it's popped thoroughly and eat with care so that you don't inadvertently crunch down on an unpopped kernel.
Along the same lines, make sure you stop grinding your teeth. Grinding your teeth puts unnecessary stress on your implants.
3. Stay Away From Products That Contain Tobacco or Nicotine
Ideally, you should permanently stop using tobacco products before you get your dental implants. Not only does this encourage optimal healing, but it decreases the likelihood that your implants fail. Keep your implants in top-notch condition by continuing to avoid tobacco products.
Tobacco products contribute to overall poor oral health. They lead to higher incidences of tooth decay and gum disease, both of which are bad news for the health of your implants.