cleaning dental implants

Your new dental implants can last the rest of your life. But only if they’re cared for properly. Keeping your dental implants clean with a great daily home care routine is essential. The good news is that your oral hygiene techniques for implants are nearly identical to that of caring for natural teeth…with a few exceptions. 

Here’s everything you need to know about caring for your dental implants every day:

Which Toothbrush Should I Use for Dental Implants?

It’s best to use a soft or extra-soft toothbrush to clean both your implants and your natural teeth. Anything too stiff could harm your gum tissues and lead to recession. Even better, you might want to invest in an electric toothbrush which will be much more effective at plaque and stain removal. 

How do I Clean Between Dental Implants or My Implants and Gum Tissues?

Depending on the size of the space, you can use floss, floss with a floss threader, a proxy brush, a water flosser, a small interdental brush, or even a floss pick. When you’re getting your dental implants or have a regular checkup planned, we’ll show you different types of devices and how they work to clean around implants. Most of these items can be picked up at any grocery store or pharmacy. The key is to find what works for you and use it regularly. 

Can I Use a Water Flosser Around Implants Instead of Floss?

Sure. Water flossers work extremely well, especially under All-on-4 and All-on-6 dental implant systems since they can clean under your prosthesis. They essentially eliminate the need for a floss threader. You can also use them to trace around your implants to clean just under the gums, as well as around and between any remaining teeth. If you’ve experienced a history of gum disease, water flossers can clean deep down inside of periodontal pockets, making them an excellent tool to have in your home hygiene toolkit. 

Do I Still Need Regular Dental Cleanings?

Absolutely. There will always be areas of your mouth that develop buildup, even if you are a great brusher and flosser. With dental implants, you want to be extra careful that there is no tartar buildup around the gumlines, as it could cause your implants sites to get infected (and the implants to fail.) Plan to schedule a dental cleaning at least every 6 months, regardless of how many dental implants you have

Which Type of Toothpaste Should I Use on Dental Implants?

Any non-abrasive, ADA-approved toothpaste is fine to use with dental implants. Your everyday fluoride toothpaste is perfect choice. Just try not to use anything that has small abrasives or baking soda in it, as it could contribute to micro-scratches across some dental restorations (resulting in excess stain and buildup over time.)

Can I Use Mouthwash if I Have Implants?

Using an alcohol-free mouth rinse is fine when you have dental implants. Try not to use anything that irritates your gums or causes your mouth to burn. Just remember that mouthwash doesn’t replace flossing!

How do I Remove Stain From Dental Implants?

Try to rinse your mouth with water every time you have foods or drinks that would stain a white shirt. Such as red wine, tea, coffee, tomato paste, etc. Brush twice a day to disrupt any particles leftover from your meals. And always plan regular dental cleanings to have your implants cleaned and polished by a professional. 

Do I Need to Sleep in a Nightguard?

Before you get dental implants, we’ll screen you for signs of bruxism (teeth clenching and grinding.) Since chronic clenching can interfere with the integrity of any dental work, we might recommend sleeping in a professionally fitted night guard or bite splint. Each situation needs to be determined on a case-by-case basis. If you’re a heavy grinder, then yes, you need to be sleeping in a night guard.

How Often Should I Brush My Implants?

Be sure to brush your implants for at least two minutes twice a day. If you have the opportunity, try to brush mid-day and after meals. The more frequently you brush, the less likely you’ll be to get stain or tartar buildup across your dental restorations and any remaining teeth.

What’s the Best Way to Brush Dental Implants?

Try to brush your implants the same way you would your natural teeth. Angle the brush towards your gums, brush outside and inside, and all of your chewing surfaces. It’s also a great idea to go back and brush from a different angle around your fixed appliances, just to make sure no plaque gets wedged underneath the edges. 

How Often Should I Floss Around Dental Implants? 

Daily. Flossing helps clean areas that toothbrushing doesn’t reach, so it’s important to floss around every implant, every day. You could almost say, “Just floss the implants (or teeth) that you want to keep!” If you like, you can floss even more often than that. You can never floss too much.

What do I do if I Get Gingivitis Around My Implants?

Gingivitis can evolve into peri-implantitis, which is the implant form of gum disease (and the leading cause of implant failure.) Make sure to re-vamp your oral hygiene routine and catch up on any professional cleanings to have hard tartar removed. Daily flossing is essential to reverse gingivitis. If bleeding or inflammation persists, let our DFW specialists know right away.

How to Remove Food Stuck Between Dental Implants

If you have something wedged between your implants, teeth, or gums, remove it by gently cleaning that space with tufted floss or some type of interdental cleaner (such as a thin proxy brush). Try to avoid being too aggressive with something like a toothpick. You can also tie a not in your floss and gently tug it through that area to pull the food out with it.

Dental Implants in DFW

ARCHPOINT Implant Dentistry offers state-of-the-art implant options for people with missing teeth. If you’re looking to restore your smile, regain your confidence, and feel great about how your teeth look, you’ve come to the right place. Contact our office in Dallas or Ft. Worth today to reserve a no-obligation evaluation.