You have successfully gone through the process of getting new dental implants, and the procedure is now complete. Congratulations? Now how do you take care of your new teeth? Proper care is essential to making sure your implants last, hopefully for the rest of your life. Let’s discuss some basics to caring for your dental implants, beginning immediately after surgery.
The Day of Surgery
Once you’ve gone through recovery and are released from the dentist’s office, treat your new teeth very gently the first day to prevent irritation and complications. Resist the urge to touch and probe the area(s) for now, and avoid smoking, which may disrupt the healing process. Avoid strenuous activities — take the rest of the day off and relax, if possible. You should brush your new teeth tonight, but gently.
The Days Following Surgery
A bit of light bleeding is normal for the first 24-48 hours after your implants are installed. As your dentist instructs, you may pack the area with gauze. After the first 24 hours (not before), regular salt water rinses will help keep the area clean to prevent infection.
You may also experience some pain and swelling for the first 2-3 days. You can treat this with an ice pack applied to the jaw (20 minutes on, 20 minutes off), as well as over-the-counter pain medicines or any additional medicines your doctor may prescribe — including any antibiotics prescribed to prevent infection.
Eat healthy foods to promote healing; avoid hot foods for the first few days, and avoid using a straw as the sucking action can cause irritation.
Ongoing Care and Maintenance
Once you’ve recovered from surgery, taking care of your dental implants looks basically the same as good oral hygiene for your regular teeth. If you haven’t already begun doing so, brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss daily and use an antimicrobial mouth rinse as directed by your doctor. Your dentist may also recommend other brushing aids (waterpik) to remove plaque from the sides of the teeth. Keep regular checkups and cleaning appointments, usually twice a year or as recommended by your doctor.
By taking proper care of your new teeth in this fashion, your dental implants should last for decades, possibly for the rest of your life. To learn more, call Riverside Oral Facial Surgery at (706) 235-5570.