Once you have made the decision to get dental implants, it's important to know how to take care of your mouth after surgery. The process of getting implants can be painful, and you can improve implant success by taking the right precautions once they have been placed in your mouth.
If You are a Smoker, It's Time to Stop
If you smoke cigarettes, the process of smoking can make dental implants fail. Many smokers have gum disease because the gums are chronically subjected to abuse from smoke inhalation, and the chemical interactions with the nicotine and smoke. Most smokers have problems with their gums, and continuing to smoke makes the problems worse. For implants to successfully remain in the mouth, the gums must be healthy. Healing is also inhibited from smoking, and this is another major reason some dentists won't perform dental implant surgery on those that smoke regularly.
Take Excellent Care of Your Oral Hygiene
It has never been more important for you to take excellent care of your teeth and gums than after you have dental implant surgery. If you get an oral infection at the implant site, the implanted tooth can fall out. This is because the titanium implant is unable to properly fuse to your jaw because of the infection. When you don't take care of your teeth and gums, it is easy for infection to set in. Bacteria can be introduced into your mouth at any time, and keeping your mouth healthy involves brushing your teeth and flossing regularly. If you notice bleeding or puffy gum tissue, it's time to have your mouth inspected by a dentist.
Healthy Eating Improves Implant Success
Just as drinking sugary drinks and eating sticky, chewy candy is going to hurt your teeth, healthier eating is going to improve your oral health. Consider eating crunchy vegetables that will help clean your teeth naturally, as chewing crunchy vegetables acts as a natural abrasive on your teeth. Keep your gums healthy by getting enough Vitamin C, which is found in most citrus fruits. Avoid foods that cause your gums to dry out, and make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Your dentist will talk with you about taking care of your mouth after surgery, but proper brushing, quitting smoking and eating a healthier diet will help you keep your dental implants longer. Talk with your dentist about other ways you can promote dental implant success.