It can take several months to complete the dental implant process, which makes it all the more rewarding when your new smile is finally complete. However, there’s still a possibility that your dental implants might fail if they aren’t properly maintained. If you want your implant posts to last as long as possible, then you may want to think about making the following 3 changes to your lifestyle.
1. Start Practicing Better Oral Hygiene
Gum disease is one of the leading causes of dental implant failure. Your implant posts need a healthy jawbone to hold them in place, but if gum disease is left unchecked for too long, it can lead to bone loss. In order to protect your dental implants, you need to do everything you can to avoid gum disease – and oftentimes that means improving your oral hygiene routine.
Make sure that you’re brushing at least twice a day. (Only use nonabrasive toothpaste so that you don’t damage the crown, bridge, or denture that your implants support.) You should also make flossing a habit if you haven’t already. You should be cleaning your entire mouth as thoroughly as possible, of course, but it’s a good idea to pay especially close attention to the area around your implant posts.
2. Stop Smoking for a While After Receiving Dental Implants
Generally speaking, it’s not a good idea to smoke if you just had dental implants placed. People who use tobacco products are more likely to suffer from oral infections, which can easily result in implant failure. Additionally, smoking can slow down the healing process in your mouth and might even stop the implant posts from bonding with the jawbone.
If you want your dental implants to succeed, it’s best to stop using tobacco products for at least a couple of months following your surgery. Talk to your physician to see if they can point you to any resources that can help you keep your smoking habit under control.
3. Make Good Choices for Your Smile
If you want to take care of your dental implants, you can start by taking care of your mouth. For example, you can make a few changes to your diet so that it includes plenty of foods that are good for your gums. Popular choices include fatty fish, cheese, seeds, yogurt, shiitake mushrooms, chicken, and various types of fruits and vegetables.
Another change you can make is to stop using your mouth to open packages. Every time you do so, you risk accidentally damaging your dental implants. Taking the extra time to look for some scissors could ultimately end up saving you a lot of trouble.
About the Author
Dr. Jeff Lee completed a four-year Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery residency at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. At Muskingum Valley Oral Surgery, he utilizes advanced technology and proven surgical techniques to place reliable, long-lasting dental implants. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Lee at his practice in Marietta, visit his website or call (740) 236-9392.