How to Take Care of Dental Implants After Surgery
Dental implants are a natural-looking and long-lasting solution, as long as you start taking care of them immediately after surgery. Poorly maintained implants can cause tooth decay, bleeding, and infections around the restorations. At Lifetime Family Dental, we want to help you maintain a clean and healthy smile—follow these tips for dental implant care and maintenance.
How to Care for Dental Implants After Surgery
1. Keep Your Mouth Clean
A clean mouth is essential to the healing process after dental implant surgery. Neglecting your oral hygiene can cause plaque to build up around the implants, which leads to decay in your surrounding teeth. You can keep your mouth clean and reduce swelling and pain by rinsing with warm salt water 4-5 times a day during the two weeks following your surgery.
Brushing twice a day and flossing daily is just as important for keeping your dental implants clean as it is for maintaining healthy, natural teeth. When you brush your teeth and implants after surgery, use a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid irritating your gums and to reduce damage to your implants over time.
On the day of your surgery, use your prescription oral rinse once before bed, gently swishing for at least thirty seconds before spitting. Starting the day after surgery, gently brush your teeth and use the rinse twice a day—once in the morning, and once before bed.
2. Apply Ice
Continuously applying ice to your cheek after surgery will help to reduce swelling. Although swelling is normal, you should ice the area as much as possible for the first few days after surgery to reduce your discomfort. Make sure to wrap the ice pack in a towel, and don’t apply ice for more than 15 minutes at a time. Take a 15-minute break between applications to avoid damaging your skin.
3. Eat Soft Foods
Drink plenty of fluids on the day of your surgery to prevent dehydration and help your body heal. You should also avoid hot foods and liquids as well as straws for a few days to prevent damage to your mouth. Start eating a soft food diet on the day of your surgery and continue until you can comfortably return to a normal diet.
Avoid eating hard or sticky foods and any foods that can become stuck between your teeth for at least six weeks after surgery. Do not chew on ice or bite hard objects because they can harm your implants and disrupt the healing process. You should also limit your intake of teeth-staining drinks like coffee and red wine to keep your implants as white as possible.
4. Reduce Physical Activity
Exerting yourself after dental implant surgery can result in throbbing or bleeding around the implant site. Keep physical activity to a minimum for the first few days after your surgery, and be sure to wear a mouthguard as soon as you return to any contact sport. You should also wear a mouthguard to protect your implants if you grind or clench your teeth at night.
5. Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Although dental implants can last a long time with the proper care and maintenance, just like your natural teeth they still require regular checkups. Twice-yearly appointments will allow your dentist to check for signs of tooth decay and examine your implants for any problems.
Dental Implants in Gilbert
Thorough cleanings and checkups from Lifetime Family Dental in Gilbert, Arizona will help you take good care of your dental implants after surgery. Our gentle dentistry services will keep your teeth and implants in excellent condition. If you’re due for a checkup, call 480-558-4331 today to schedule an appointment.