Posted on 28 October 2022

A dental implant is used to replace missing teeth, helping to maintain a natural look when you smile. 

Made from titanium or ceramic, the implant is screwed in to the jawbone to provide a sturdy tooth replacement that can last a lifetime. A dental crown is fitted on top of the implant, providing the function and appearance of a real tooth.

As with any dental procedure, a dental implant requires a little time to settle down and for the surrounding gum-line to heal. Your dentist will offer advice to help your dental implant heal faster. This will include:

  • avoid eating hard foods or any foods that are acidic in nature
  • gently brush your teeth and implant, ensuring you use a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • rest up where possible
  • avoid nicotine products
  • take any prescribed antibiotics

Dental implants have a 98% success rate. However, caring and cleaning your implant ensures it looks its best and helps extend the life of the crown. While the implant should last a lifetime, the crown will need to be replaced at some point.

Keeping Your Dental Implants Clean

Replacing missing teeth with a dental implant restores a natural look to your smile. When you are more confident in your smile, you can feel more confident in yourself. Therefore, keeping your dental implants clean is key. The following are tips on cleaning dental implants.

Gentle Brushing Twice a Day

When you have a tooth replaced by a dental implant, it is important to continue to clean your teeth twice a day. A buildup of plaque can lead to gum disease, impacting on the stability of the implant. Twice daily brushing helps clean and care for your implant as well as your natural teeth.

You can use a manual or electric toothbrush, just ensure the brush is able to clean all around the implant. The key is to brush gently and to use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Aggressive brushing can irritate the gums around the implant as well as erode the enamel on your natural teeth.

Rinsing with a mouthwash once a day can also help keep your gums healthy.

Daily Flossing

As with brushing, look to maintain your daily flossing routine. Floss around the sides of the implant -- but try not to floss too far beneath the gum-line. Some people may find a water flosser is a more suitable option. 

You will need to floss more gently around a dental implant than with your natural teeth. If you are too aggressive with your flossing, you risk inflaming the gums and bone around the implant. It can be best to ask your dentist to show you how to floss around a dental implant.

Select the Appropriate Toothpaste

Toothpastes can vary according to the service they offer. When you have dental implants, you should avoid a tooth whitening toothpaste. These varieties of toothpaste may be too abrasive for dental implants and the surrounding gums.

While some abrasive qualities can be useful to help clean your natural teeth, ideally you want a toothpaste which is not overly abrasive. This can seem a little confusing at first with all the options on the market. Therefore, you may want to ask your dentist for their recommendation.

Regular Dental Visits

Much of the ways to clean and care for dental implants follows the same path as looking after your natural teeth. This includes maintaining regular dental appointments. Your dentist is best placed to monitor your dental implant and your overall oral health

Regular check-ups and professional cleanings complement your home oral hygiene routine. This not only helps care for your dental implant, it also provides the best chance of keeping implants clean and natural looking.

Can You Whiten Dental Implants?

Whiter teeth give the impression of healthy teeth. When your teeth are bright, you can also feel more confident in your smile. You make a positive first impression in both personal and professional scenarios. 

If you are considering teeth whitening, you should look to have it done prior to having a dental implant. This ensures your natural teeth have a uniform color prior to your dental crown being made. Crowns are custom-made to match the appearance of your natural teeth. 

Dental crowns are also made from porcelain and are designed to be stain resistant. This is a useful way to prevent them becoming stained by the food and drink we consume. However, being stain resistant they will also be resistant to tooth whitening.

The exception may be if your crown is toward the back of the mouth and not visible to others when you smile or talk. In this instance you may still be able to have your teeth whitened after having an implant fitted, as it will whiten your visible teeth.

Otherwise, chat to your dentist ahead of your dental implant procedure if you are thinking of having your teeth whitened. They can advise you on the most suitable approach to teeth whitening.

Cleaning dental implants is important for their care and for maintaining their natural appearance. 

The good news is that cleaning dental implants is simple and does not require much tweaking to a normal oral hygiene routine. With regular gentle brushing and flossing, combined with regular dental appointments, you can still have the smile you always wanted after replacing missing teeth with dental implants.


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