Your Guide to Taking Care of Dental Implants

Congratulations—you have dental implants! At Central Texas Periodontics, we know you’re going to be so much happier and more confident in your new smile.

Now that you have your new smile, how will you keep it shining bright? Taking care of your implants is very similar to caring for your natural teeth. It’s important that you’re committed to daily dental hygiene at home, following an implant-friendly diet for a few days, and abstaining from alcohol and tobacco products.

The First 72 Hours

Some amount of swelling and pain is normal immediately after your teeth implant procedure. Here are a few techniques to help you find relief.

  • Be sure to rest for the first 8-to-12 hours post-surgery and keep your head elevated.
  • For bleeding control, bite down on the sponges the surgeon placed in your mouth.
  • For jaw pain, hold an ice pack to your face as needed, but not more than 15 minutes at a time.
  • Stick to a smoothie diet for the first 48 hours, slowly integrating soft foods like eggs and soup after that.

Follow your prescription instructions meticulously and avoid all alcohol consumption for the first 72 hours.


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4 Tips for Taking Care of Dental Implants

You’ve got new teeth! After the initial recovery period, you’ll get back to your normal routine and that should include taking great care of your new implants. Here are four simple tips for doing just that!

      1. Brush with a Soft Bristle Nylon Toothbrush

Your new teeth deserve a new toothbrush. Avoid toothbrushes made with hard bristles as they can scratch or damage the surface of your implants. Stick to a regular brushing schedule of at least twice a day.

Don’t be tempted to use any metal cleaning instruments in your mouth once you have your implants installed. A toothbrush and floss will do the trick.

     2. Stick to a Daily Flossing Routine

Plaque can easily accumulate around dental implants, and this can lead to other problematic oral hygiene issues. It’s especially important to floss around the base of your implant, not just the crevices. Fortunately, there are several flosses and tools available that are specifically designed for people who completed the teeth-in-a-day procedure.

It’s easy to remember to brush since you’ve been doing that since you were a toddler, but flossing is often neglected. Here are a few tips to help you remember.

  • Set a repeating alarm on your phone
  • Keep floss in your purse or glove box
  • Get the whole family in on a 30-day flossing challenge with a reward at the end
  • Floss while you make coffee, walk the dog, or watch TV.

If you want to protect your dental implant investment, purchase a water flossing tool like the Waterpik. These pricey but practical tools make flossing easy and maybe even a little bit fun!

      3. Stay Away from Foods That Can Cause Damage

For the first few weeks, you want to be very careful not to eat anything that could damage your implants. Don’t worry—this isn’t forever! You should be able to resume a normal diet when one of our periodontists confirms that your implants are completely healed and fully integrated into your jawbone.

Some foods you should avoid immediately after getting implants include:

  • Crunchy popcorn, chips, tacos, or ice
  • Sticky snacks such as caramel or taffy
  • Extra chewy food like bagels or gummies
  • Spicy hot peppers or salsa
  • Steak or other difficult-to-chew proteins
  • Raw vegetables or dense fruit such as apples
  • Highly acidic foods such as tomatoes or oranges

Try a light smoothie and applesauce menu for the first day after your teeth-in-a-day implants. After that, slowly integrate softer foods like eggs, soft potatoes, fish or ground meats, and low-sugar dairy products into your diet.

     4. Avoid Drinking Alcohol and Smoking

Although avoiding alcohol and tobacco is always a healthy option, it’s especially important to avoid it after you have a dental implant procedure. Smoking increases the bacteria in your mouth, and that bacteria can easily enter the incisions that were made in your mouth during your implant procedure. If you smoke at all, there is an increased risk of infection.

Alcohol is a toxin and has been shown to negatively impact the body’s natural healing process. As you heal from your dental implants, your body is trying to rebuild. Complete integration and healing can take up to six months, and any alcohol consumption may increase this time and cause further health complications.

What Happens to Neglected Dental Implants?

If they’re neglected, dental implants can develop what’s known as mucositis and begin to bleed. Dental experts suggest mucositis can be treated or reversed if diagnosed early enough. Untreated, mucositis can progress as far as bone loss, which is not reversible. If the bone loss becomes too great, your teeth-in-a-day implants may need to be removed.

Without proper daily care, your implants may become somewhat of a horror story. That’s why it’s so critical to follow the steps we’ve outlined and pamper your new smile!

Get Ready for Your Teeth-in-a-Day Procedure with Central Texas Periodontics

Are you ready to love your smile and feel more confident with every grin? Schedule a consultation with our team or call the office to make your appointment!