Dental implants can be damaged in many of the same ways as regular teeth. It's important to take good care of your implants to ensure that they last a long time – this way, you'll avoid pain or the need for repeat procedures. Not looking after your implants properly could lead to gum disease, infections, bleeding and soreness. Implants that are well taken care of can last you the rest of your life, so it's a worthwhile investment of time and energy. Read on to find out exactly what to do to keep your implants in top shape.
Wear a mouth guard during sports
It's possible to do a lot of damage to both teeth and implants during sports, so it's important to wear a mouth guard. A specially fitted device will provide the best protection, but a universal mouth guard is still better than nothing. If one of the teeth attached to your implant is damaged during sports, there's a good chance that it can be removed and replaced. This will cost money, but shouldn't cause too much pain or inconvenience. On the other hand, if the implant itself is damaged, then you'll need a new one fitted. In some cases, the damaged implant can be left inside the jaw while in others it must be removed. Avoid a painful and expensive procedure by wearing a mouth guard.
Smoking can cause loads of problems to your dental implants – so much so that some dentists refuse to fit implants to patients who smoke. Smoking increases the risk of infection, inhibits healing inside the mouth by reducing blood flow and causes the mouth to become excessively dry. After implants have been fitted, it's essential that the healing process goes smoothly, which is less likely if you smoke. Infections or inadequate healing may mean that you have to have the implant removed, meaning you've wasted time and money. Smoking also increases the rate of bone loss around implants, which can cause problems leading to removal down the line.
Use interdental brushes
It's as important to keep your implants clean as it is to clean your regular teeth. Use small, interdental brushes to clean all the small spaces around your implants and floss thoroughly. It's easy to think that implants won't be damaged by poor cleaning, but a buildup of bacteria can lead to infection around the implant plus soreness and inflammation in the gums. Taking the time to give your implants a thorough clean each morning and night gives you the best chance of keeping them for the rest of your life.