Why is it important to care for your dental implants?
Dental implants are false teeth that completely replace your existing tooth/teeth. Luckily, dental implants don’t develop tooth cavities the way natural teeth do. This is because dental implants are made entirely from metal-based material (or zirconia). You can not develop cavities on foreign metal objects. So why is it important to clean your dental implants? Cleaning dental implants will remove harmful bacteria that cause bone loss around the implant. Excessive bone loss is detrimental to implant health. It can expose the implant threads which could make your implant loosen. Severe bone loss around the implant can even cause implant failure. By properly cleaning your dental implants, you remove harmful bacteria to prevent bone loss and keep your implants healthy and sound for years to come.
How should you clean your dental implants?
Cleaning a dental implant is similar to cleaning your natural tooth. Simply brush and floss your dental implant as you would clean any other tooth in your mouth. If you're perceptive, you will notice that cleaning dental implants is a bit more difficult than cleaning natural teeth. This is due to bone loss which occurs surrounding all dental implants. Most patients find using a Waterpik rather helpful to clean dental implants that trap more food. If you're having trouble cleaning your dental implants, consult with your dentist for further advice.
How do you clean all-on-4 teeth?
All-on-four teeth are a complete set of prosthetic teeth which are supported by four or more dental implants. Patients with all-on-four teeth have no more natural teeth left in the respective arch. Cleaning all-on-four teeth can be a challenge since you can't remove the prosthesis from your mouth. It's fine to continue brushing your gums as it stimulates blood flow in the region. Only using a manual toothbrush as an electric toothbrush can loosen or damage the prosthesis. We also recommend supplementing a Waterpik to your hygiene routine. Using a Waterpik dislodges larger food particles that get trapped underneath the all-on-four teeth. Finally, your dentist may recommend that you remove the all-on-four teeth and have them cleaned professionally on an annual basis or thereabouts.
How do you clean implant-supported dentures?
Implant-supported dentures, known as overdentures or snap-on-dentures, are dentures that attach to several dental implants. Overdentures are easier to clean as compared to all-on-four teeth. This is because the denture can be removed from your mouth during your hygiene routine. Be sure to take your dentures out of your mouth every night and clean them throughly. Use a soft toothbrush with liquid soap to remove debris from the denture. Feel free to use denture cleaning solutions to soak your dentures and remove calcified deposits. Pay extra attention to the denture housings, which are the colorful circles that lock onto the dental implants. Don’t clean the housings too rigorously or you will damage them. Finally, don't forget to clean the dental implants in your mouth after you've removed the overdenture from your mouth.
To learn more about cleaning other dental prostheses, click on the following links: