A dental implant, like other dental devices, is not subject to decay. However, the jawbone and gingival tissues that support the implanted device must still be properly protected to prevent implant failure.
Here are a few suggestions for implant patients to help reduce implant issues.
Use an Electric Toothbrush
Although a manual toothbrush can be used to clear plaque from the areas around a dental implant, an electric toothbrush is likely a better option. Due to the generation of more brush strokes than a human hand can produce, electronic toothbrushes tend to remove biofilm more effectively than a manual toothbrush.
Also, a toothbrush with an end tuft can be beneficial. The tuft can help the patient reach around the bulk of the dental crown that covers the implant.
Use an Oral Irrigator
Oral irrigators, which are also called water flossers, can help remove plaque and bacteria that lies below the gum line. Still, an irrigator should only be used on a low-force setting. Too much pressure from the emitted water flow can damage sensitive soft tissues.
Oral irrigators are sometimes preferred for interdental cleaning around a dental implant because traditional string floss can leave bits of shredded floss behind. This residue can encourage the development of implantitis.
Use Stimulators with Rubber Tips
Rubber-tipped stimulators can also help remove plaque from the spaces around a dental implant. The stimulators also encourage healthy blood flow to the gingival tissues that surround the implant.
Use Antimicrobial Mouthwash
A mouthwash can also be used to help eliminate bacterial accumulations around the implant. The selected rinse should include antimicrobial agents, such as chlorhexidine. Additionally, abrasive mouth rinse ingredients, such as sodium bicarbonate, should be avoided.
Use Night Guards
Many implant patients may grind their teeth at night. The grinding and clenching of the teeth can generate enough bite pressure to move an implant out of position.
Once an implant moves from its original position in the bone, the implant fails. Osseointegration does not restart.
To protect the implant, a night guard should be worn. The guard can absorb some of the pressure of a clenching or grinding episode.
Avoid Metal Cleaning Tools
Metal cleaning tools are available for purchase over-the-counter. The tools look similar to professional dental scalers. However, the over-the-counter devices should not be used around an implant. The tools can scratch the device, creating crevices that encourage bacterial build up.
To learn more ways to protect your dental implant, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.