Just like natural teeth, dental implants need proper care to keep them healthy. Although implants do not develop cavities like natural teeth, they can be affected by gum disease and oral infections. In rare cases, dental implants develop problems so severe that dentists are forced to remove them. Here are a few simple steps you can take to protect your dental implants, both immediately after fitting and over the long term.
1. Don't Smoke
According to a study carried out by a team of researchers at the University of Murcia in Spain, smokers have a dental implant failure rate of 15.8 percent. In contrast, only 1.4 percent of dental implants fail in people who do not smoke.
Cigarette smoke contains chemicals that damage gum health. Smoking also slows healing after oral surgery and increases the risk of infection, which means it is particularly important to stay away from tobacco during the initial healing period after getting dental implants. To find out about treatment options that can help you to kick the habit for good, ask your doctor or dentist for advice.
2. Limit Alcohol
Drinking alcohol during the 72 hours after dental implant surgery can increase the risk of a condition caused avascular necrosis (AVN). This condition, which leads to bone loss, could force your dentist to remove your dental implants. Even one drink could trigger this condition during the initial healing period after surgery.
Once your dental implants have integrated into your jaw, the risk of AVN is much lower. Most people with dental implants can safely drink moderate amounts of alcohol. However, heavy drinking can still put your dental implants at risk. Dentists recommend sticking to no more than 20 drinks per week.
3. Brush Twice a Day
It is important to keep dental implants clean. Brush them every morning and evening with a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush, just like you would with your natural teeth. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle to your gum line so your gums get a good clean too.
4. Floss Daily
Brushing alone isn't enough to keep dental implants clean. Tiny scraps of food and plaque can hide between the crowns, where your toothbrush cannot reach. Use dental floss to gently clean around your dental implants, removing all traces of plaque. This dental hygiene routine will help to prevent gum disease and protect your dental implants over the long term.
As a mum, I know how essential sport can be to children's development. Through team sports like soccer, kids learn persistence, sportsmanship and the value of supporting their team members. However, all that learning carries some risk as well, and a stray elbow or a ball to the face can result in oral injuries. I have been the mum rushing to the emergency room with a precious permanent tooth sitting in a cup of milk. Admittedly, at the time, I wasn't even sure if the cup of milk was the right solution. As a parent, you will face those situations, and I'm here to make sure you know what to do when they pop up. With this blog, let's explore children's dentistry and sports injuries together... I want you to have the info you need to stay cool, calm and collected, regardless of how many teeth are on the pitch.