How do I Clean Dental Implants after Surgery?
Keeping your new teeth clean is extremely important after you have had dental implant surgery. Good oral hygiene is vital to ensure the success of the implants staying healthy and to help avoid infection or deterioration. Having the right information will assist you in finding your own maintenance routine and we have included a handy guide to the right tools for the job.
After Implant Surgery
Your implants are fitted to replicate how a natural tooth would sit in the mouth, but of course they are completely different in their make-up. However, they both are surrounded by gum tissue, and this must be kept as clean as possible to stay healthy. Plaque can gather on your implant crown just as on a natural tooth and a build-up can begin to cause problems or even infection if not cleaned away on a daily basis.
The best way to clean your implants
Visiting a dental hygienist regularly will maximise the longevity of both your natural teeth and your dental implants. They will use the correct tools and give you a thorough cleaning to ensure healthy teeth and gums, plus they can advise you on any issues with your implants or teeth so you can plan treatment accordingly if necessary.
Use the right tools
There are a variety of different tools available to you to help reach every part of your mouth and to clean thoroughly around the implant crowns as well as teeth. If you are unsure of which is best to use, speak to your dentist, hygienist or one of the friendly team at DentalCarePlus.
Some of the tools available are:
Straight after surgery you might want to use an extra-soft toothbrush to avoid putting extra stress on any tender areas, and it is best to avoid the surgical incision area until it is healed. Manual toothbrushes work just as well on implants as electric or sonic ones.
- Oral irrigator
Also known as a water picker or flosser, this tool uses a jet of water to clean in and around your implants and teeth. You can use it once or twice daily to help fight bleeding gums, gingivitis and inflammation.
This is great for harder to reach areas in the mouth, especially the inner side of your teeth, as it is angled and has a smaller head to a toothbrush. You can add an antibacterial cleanser to the tip, but check with your dentist or hygienist for a recommendation. Make sure the bristles are nylon to avoid scratching your implants and only use it where it can be inserted easily, as forcing it could cause receding gums.
- Interdental brush
This tool will help you clean the sides of the implant-supported tooth, crown and abutment. Use a plastic-coated wire version of this brush and make sure it is the right size for your mouth, too big or small will make it ineffective. Never is unnecessary when using this tool.
Floss is perfect for right between the gums, but make sure you talk to your dentist before adding it to your routine as it can damage gum tissue if used incorrectly.
Proven to kill bacteria and promote overall oral health, mouthwash is a great addition to your teeth and implant cleaning routine. It is especially useful if you have implants in harder to reach areas of the mouth or any dexterity issues.
Important areas of the mouth to clean
As well as your usual teeth cleaning routine, there are some areas that will require extra attention after you have had dental implants fitted.
- Your implant-supported tooth
Both above and below the gum line will need cleaning thoroughly, twice daily, to avoid infection and ensure the success of your implant.
- In-between neighbouring teeth
Keeping the gum and area between your teeth and implants is very important as this is where plaque may gather and turn into infection.
Cleaning techniques for dental implants
DentalCarePlus will provide you with detailed aftercare instructions for your oral hygiene routine post dental implant surgery, but there are a few general tips that will help you keep your implants and your whole mouth healthy:
- When using an interdental brush, don’t push if you notice any resistance when attempting to clean between your teeth. Check that the brush is the correct size to avoid damage to your gums.
- Move the interdental brush horizontally between teeth and gums, but only with a slight downward pressure and back a forth a couple of times. Excessive scrubbing may damage the brush and your gums.
- After using any of your tools for implant cleaning, wash them thoroughly to keep them bacteria-free and in good working condition.
- Move your end-tufted brush in a circular motion to clean the whole tooth/crown and surrounding area. For the gum line, hold the brush at a 45° angle and brush back and forth.
If you need any extra help or advice on how to care for your dental implants after surgery, call DentalCarePlus, we’ll be happy to assist you.