How to care for your teeth at home after dental implant surgery
Dental implants can last for decades, but you need to take very good care of them from the moment you return home from your dental implant surgery. Just like your natural teeth, dental tartar can build around your teeth and gums causing problems for your implants. Here is a brief overview of how to care for your dental implants immediately after your dental implant surgery and well into the future.
Post Surgery Dental Implant Care
Caring for your dental implants starts immediately after you have returned home from your dental implant surgery. It is important that you follow proper post-surgery procedure, as it will help to ease much of the early discomfort experienced after the procedure. It will also help to speed up your recovery time and to decrease your risk of infections and implant failure.
Listen to your periodontist carefully and follow his/her post-surgery instructions. Take any pain medications that were prescribed. It is often recommended that you take your first dose of pain medications while the surgical area is still numb. Some bleeding is completely normal after surgery. Keep your head elevated with pillows for the first two nights and apply an ice pack as needed to help reduce bleeding and swelling. If bleeding persists for more than 3-4 days after surgery, talk to your periodontist. Remember to drink plenty of fluids, eat soft foods, avoid strenuous activity, and do not smoke or drink.
For more detailed post surgery instructions, we recommend that you visit our website and/or read our blog article titled, “Post Surgery Procedures: How to Ensure a Swift Recovery.”
Cleaning your dental implants at home
The success of your dental implants depends heavily on the long term care of your implants at home, by you. From the moment that you return home from your surgery, it is essential that you keep your mouth as clean as possible as often as you can.
Brush and floss any teeth that were not involved in the implant surgery as normal, starting the evening that you return home. This means brushing your teeth on the inside, outside, and top surfaces, twice a day and flossing once a day. Use a soft toothbrush or an electric toothbrush for cleaning your teeth. You can also use other cleaning aids if your periodontist has recommended them.
The surgical area should not be disturbed for at least a week post surgery. The surgical area can be kept clean by rinsing with the prescribed oral rinse for two weeks after surgery. Try to keep food away from the surgical area for as long as possible, rinsing your mouth out after every meal. You can also use warm-water salt mouthwashes for the first week to keep the area clean. Once the surgical area is no longer sensitive, you can start carefully brushing and flossing this area as well. Ask your periodontist about specific dental implant cleaning and flossing techniques.
Remember that it is also important to schedule regular check-ups and preventative dentist visits post surgery. This will help to ensure that your mouth remains clean and that your new dental implants remain firmly in place for many years. Communicate openly with your periodontist and do not hesitate to contact him/her with any of your questions.