If you’re looking to restore the gaps in your smile caused by missing teeth, dental implants are the best way to go. They’re the healthiest, most attractive, and most convenient solution.
The porcelain crown of a dental implant reacts to light the same way your natural teeth do. And they’re custom-crafted to match your smile, so you’re the only one who has to know it’s not one of your natural teeth.
No other smile restoration protects your health the way dental implants do. Missing teeth leave gaps that cause your remaining teeth to shift around, and this will irritate your gums, often leading to infection. But dental implants preserve your dental health by filling these gaps.
As soon as you lose a tooth, the bone around the empty socket begins to diminish. That’s because bones require stimulation to remain strong. Dental implants are the only restoration that prevents your jawbone from diminishing because they provide regular stimulation.
Dental implants are also the most convenient restoration. You care for them as you do with your natural teeth — with daily brushing and flossing. But there’s one major difference. You’ll want to select gentle hygiene products for use with your dental implants to protect the implants and the soft tissue around them.
Products containing abrasive materials can scratch both your implant and the titanium fixture that secures it. They can also irritate the soft tissue that supports the implant fixture.
To ensure optimum results, Dr. Stearns has put together this list of the safest hygiene products for use with your implants.
Toothbrush– It’s essential to find a toothbrush with soft or extra soft bristles to avoid scratching your implants. A great deal of research has been conducted on the effectiveness of different types of toothbrushes for use with your implants, and the consensus is that either a manual or an electric toothbrush is fine when used properly. That means thoroughly going over all the available surfaces of your teeth for at least two minutes of active brushing.
Toothpaste– There are several brands of toothpaste that contain abrasive ingredients that can damage your implants or irritate the soft tissue that supports them. All types of whitening toothpaste and smoker’s toothpaste should be avoided. You’ll also want to check for the following ingredients because they can scratch your implants: Stannous fluoride, baking soda, and sodium fluoride.
Mouthwash– Rinsing daily with mouthwash is an important way to fight off the bacteria that cause both tooth decay and gum disease. Don’t use mouthwash that contains alcohol with your implants because this hampers your body’s natural ability to fight off dangerous bacteria.
Dental Floss– Dental floss is the most popular type of interdental cleaner for removing plaque and debris from between your teeth. Patients with implants will want to choose nylon-coated floss because it’s more gentle on your soft tissue. You can also find floss designed specifically for use with dental implants.
Interdental Brushes– Many of our patients find interdental brushes to be a convenient alternative to flossing. But metal brushes can damage your implants. That’s why you’ll want to get one that’s either plastic or plastic-coated.