If you're like most people, you're aware that advances in dental technology have resulted in customized approaches to restorative dentistry. For instance, conventional dentures used to be the standard approach to missing teeth, and patients often had to sacrifice healthy teeth in order to be fitted with a full set of dentures. Today's patients, however, often have the choice of opting for dental implants over dentures or bridges. In fact, it's possible to use an implant to replace a single missing tooth, a couple of missing teeth, a whole row of missing teeth, or an entire mouthful of missing teeth.
Most patients prefer this to traditional bridges or dentures because implants more closely mirror the functionality of natural teeth, and thanks to today's digital color-matching techniques, the prosthetic teeth attached to implants are almost impossible to tell apart from their natural counterparts. However, if you're considering having implants installed, you may be wondering how to care for them. Here's what you need to know:
You'll Need a Different Toothpaste for Your Implants
Even though your regular toothpaste will be able to clean prosthetic teeth, it's better for those with prosthetic teeth to use a low-abrasive toothpaste instead. This helps prevent tiny scratches from developing on the surface of the prosthetic teeth. You should also use a soft-bristled toothpaste for the same reason.
Use Unwaxed Dental Floss
Flossing twice per day is still an important part of the dental hygiene routine for those with implants. Even though bacterial buildup can't really harm prosthetic teeth, it can nonetheless affect the gum tissues and may result in the onset of gum disease. Using an unwaxed dental floss or one marked specifically for use by those with implants is recommended.
Consider Using an Oral Irrigation System
Oral irrigation systems have been around for a long time, but they've only recently begun to be recommended specifically for use by those with dental implants in place of dental floss. Oral irrigation may help reduce the amount of plaque that builds up between the teeth — your dentist can provide you with more information on which oral irrigation system may be best for you.
Scheduling regular appointments with your dentist is another smart strategy for taking the best possible care of your implants. Dental implants have the potential to last for the rest of your life if you take good care of them and contact your dentist at any sign of abnormality.
For more information, contact a clinic like Pacific Ave Dental/Allan L. Hablutzel, DDS.