When you see the difference that dental implants can make in your everyday life, you’ll never want to go back to having an incomplete smile. Fortunately, dental implant posts are considered the most permanent form of tooth replacement, being able to last for decades at a time. However, the chances of them failing are not zero. If you want to keep your dental implants safe over the long term, there are 3 simple changes you can make to your lifestyle.
1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene
The kind of care you give your mouth is a major factor for the success of your dental implants. If your gums become infected, the tissues holding your implants in place might start to deteriorate. In order to keep your gums healthy, you need to develop a strict oral hygiene regimen and stick to it.
Naturally, you should brush your dental implants along with the rest of your smile at least twice a day. Flossing is also important, as it’s very easy for harmful oral bacteria to gather in spots that a toothbrush can’t reach. Don’t forget to visit your dentist twice a year so that they can clean any areas that you’ve missed and check for symptoms of developing gum disease.
2. If You Smoke, Quit as Soon as You Can
You’ll be told to refrain from smoking for a while when you first have dental implants placed. This is because smoking can slow down your body’s healing processes, which could prevent the implants from integrating with the jawbone.
If you want to keep your newly restored smile, it’s best to give up smoking altogether even after your mouth is done healing. Using tobacco products can significantly increase your risk for gum disease, meaning it could lead to dental implant failure if you’re not careful. It’s therefore in your best interest to take whatever steps are necessary to break the habit.
3. Practice Healthy Lifestyle Choices
There are a number of health issues associated with an increased risk of infection, including diabetes and hypertension. The more susceptible you are to infection, the more likely you are to have problems with your dental implants. If you currently have one of these conditions or are at risk of developing one, it’s imperative that you take whatever steps you can to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
To make sure that the tissues holding your dental implants in place stay in good shape, eat plenty of foods that contain calcium, fluoride, and other nutrients that benefit oral health. Regular exercise is also helpful for maintaining a healthy weight, which lowers your risk for a variety of health issues.
There may be other things you can do to help your dental implants succeed. Talk to your dentist to see what they recommend.
About the Author
Dr. Erika Whitehouse is proud to be a compassionate dental provider who brings her patients judgment-free care. She earned her Doctor of Dental Medicine at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry. Her Austin practice, Derby Dental, offers comprehensive dental care, including the placement and restoration of dental implants. To schedule an implant consultation with Dr. Whitehouse, visit her website or call (512) 795-0128.