Congratulations, you’ve made the decision to get dental implants! Dental implants offer patients the nearly permanent opportunity to replace missing, damaged or decaying teeth. Once your smile is restored, you’ll enjoy full function and the appearance of natural teeth.
Throughout the implant process, from initial consultation to post-op checkups, Dr. Mike and the Cleveland Implant Institute care team will provide detailed care instructions based on your individual needs. Here’s a general overview of post-implant care, checkups and cleaning tips to ensure the best possible experience.
How to care for implants while you’re healing
Recovery time after dental implant surgery tends to be minimal. Plan to eat soft foods for the first few days, and avoid spicy foods so as not to irritate the surgical site. As your incision heals, you can progress to foods that require more chewing: follow Dr. Mike’s instructions to ensure you get adequate nutrition without irritating soft tissues. If you feel any discomfort, ice packs and over-the-counter pain reducers are helpful.
Rising your mouth with saltwater decreases the number of bacteria in your mouth, and helps reduce any swelling. Add one teaspoon of salt to eight ounces of warm water, swish around in your mouth for 30 seconds, then spit the water out. This can be performed up to four times per day, unless otherwise recommended.
Dr. Mike will provide specific information about how to maintain oral hygiene during the healing process, without irritating gum tissue as it heals. For best results, avoid smoking and stay hydrated.
When to schedule dental checkups
Depending on whether you need bone grafts to support your implants, you may have several appointments at the Cleveland Implant Institute. Throughout the process, your care team will let you know what to expect and when you should come in for your post-op checkups.
Once your mouth has fully healed and the implant crowns have been placed, you can resume normal dental checkups. Most dentists recommend a checkup and cleaning at least once every six months. Your needs may vary, depending on the type of procedure performed and whether you have other dental challenges.
How to clean your dental implants
Even though dental implants won’t decay like natural teeth, it’s still important to maintain good oral hygiene. Whether you’ve replaced one tooth or all of them, harmful oral bacteria can still cause bad breath, inflammation and gum disease.
Fortunately, cleaning your dental implants is just like caring for your natural teeth. Brush at least twice daily with a soft toothbrush and dentist-approved toothpaste. Floss between your teeth—including the implants— at least once per day. Whether you use traditional floss, floss picks or water flossers, flossing regularly helps remove food and plaque buildup.
At your regular dental checkups and cleanings, your Fioritto dentist will remove any buildup around your implants as well as your natural teeth.
As you can see, caring for your dental implants is as easy as following Dr. Mike’s post-op instructions and keeping up with your brushing, flossing and checkup routine. To find out whether dental implants are right for you, call the Cleveland Implant Institute today.