Habits to Avoid with Dental Implants

Dental implants are designed to be for life, but if you engage in certain bad habits, your implants may not last as long as you would like. Here are some habits you should try to avoid if you have dental implants:

  • Smoking or smokeless tobacco use
  • Chewing non-food items: pens, pencils, fingernails, ice, etc.
  • Using your teeth as tools: pliers, scissors, nutcrackers, etc.
  • Engaging in contact sports without a mouthguard

Tobacco use can impact your periodontal health, leading to gum disease and bone loss around the dental implants.

Chewing nonfood items and using your teeth as tools can damage the dental crown and even dislodge the dental implant. Where natural teeth have a built-in shock absorber, dental implants are embedded in your bone, and shocks can damage the bone around the implant, causing loose implants.

Proper Oral Hygiene

closeup of a smile maintaining dental implants by brushing her teethYour home care is probably the most important factor in ensuring that your dental implants really do last a lifetime. It’s important that you practice good oral hygiene at home.

Brush your teeth twice a day. It’s important to make sure you’re cleaning plaque (dental biofilm) off your teeth. For most people, brushing twice a day is adequate. Brushing more often than that can irritate gum tissue and potentially contribute to receding gums around the dental implant. Use a soft-bristled brush and regular toothpaste that is non-abrasive. Use a gentle pressure with the toothbrush. If you find you are irritating your gums with your brushing technique, we can help you understand how to brush properly.

Floss every day. Flossing helps clean bacteria and food that can build up between the teeth. Floss gently around your dental implant to avoid damaging delicate gum tissue here.

Your Regular Visits

It’s important to get regular checkups and professional cleanings to maintain the health of your dental implant. At our office, all our hygienists are thoroughly trained in how to properly care for dental implants. If you go elsewhere for maintenance of your dental implants, make sure they understand how to properly care for implants. Depending on your oral health, we might encourage you to get dental checkups more than twice a year to ensure your teeth remain healthy and you avoid gum disease around the implant.

If you have questions about dental implant maintenance or want to get your dental implants in Irvine, please schedule a consultation at Rice Dentistry today.