Dental implants are just like teeth, right? Brush, floss, and you’re done. Well … sort of. When cleaning your implants, you’re trying to maintain the health of a prosthesis. It’s not part of your body – so an infection can lead to rejection of the implant. But well-cared-for dental implants can last a lifetime. Here are 4 indispensable tools you need for dental implant care.
1) Toothbrush/Tufted Brush
Brushing thoroughly is essential for tooth (and implant) health. There are 3 different toothbrush types you may use to clean your dental implants.
- Angled neck brushes make cleaning the implant abutments from the inside easier. They have slim brush heads and can reach into narrow spaces. Soft filaments won’t scratch your implants.
- Regular implant brushes have the narrow heads and soft filaments of angled neck brushes. This type is better for cleaning your implants from the outside.
- Tufted brushes have a round head shape. This type is perfect for focusing on the spot where your implants meet your gums.
2) Interdental Brush
Interdental brushes clean the sides of your dental implants quickly and easily. Ask your hygienist or dentist which brush size is best for you. Because your regular toothbrush can’t reach every part of your implant, this is an indispensable tool. It’s a small brush that’s exclusively designed to clean between your teeth.
For single-tooth dental implants, you may use regular floss, wrap it around the base of the implant, and pull the ends back and forth. This action should clean it well.
If you have a bar-type implant, you can use special implant floss. It has thin, stiff ends, and a thick, flexible section in the middle for effective cleaning between the implant and your gums. Just use the stiff thread to insert the floss, then pull it back and forth.
4) Water Pic
We recommend that you use a water pic (or oral irrigator) to reduce plaque, inflammation, and clean your implant thoroughly. Water pics have proven to prevent infection, and that’s what you want.
This tool also reduces bleeding. Normal flossing can irritate while it cleans. Water irrigation is much more gentle, and daily use can help ensure the success of your dental implant.
True, they need special attention. Implants are made of materials that can be scratched. Since scratches can harbor bacteria, and bacteria leads to infection, your dental hygienist will use plastic cleaning tools on your implant.
Even so, implants have a high success rate – right around 95%. In order to prevent infection, gum disease, and bone loss, use these 4 tools to clean your dental implants daily. You’ll be glad you did!