Cleaning your teeth after implant surgery
Like teeth, implants must be regularly cleaned to prevent plaque build-up and keep healthy gums. Plaque build up around an implant can make the gums inflamed and sore and can also cause gum recession. If left unchecked this could even lead to the loss of an implant. There are a number of products specially designed products to clean implants.
The VITIS Implant Sulcular toothbrush is designed to effectively remove the plaque sitting in the gums around an implant. It has a small narrow head with soft bristles arranged in 2 rows. If you place the brush at a 45 degree angle at the meeting point between implant and gum, then the toothbrush back and forth, you should be able to remove debris without irritating the gums. This technique should not be used with a medium or hard toothbrush as it can hurt the gum causing it to recede and reveal the metal underneath it.
Another specialized toothbrush is the VITIS Implant Monotip, which has a characteristic small tuff-like brush head. It is designed to reach small spaces and move easily in the mouth. It can be used to clean attachments for dentures.
To clean the areas between implants and teeth you should floss and/or interproximal brushes. iDontix X-floss is a wider flexible floss designed to access and collect the debris between the implant and teeth. The woolly floss gently stimulates the gum. It also comes with a nylon threader which can attach on the floss to guide it through the gap. It is especially good for implant bridges, fixed dentures or implant bars as it’s able to clean under the structure.
Take a long piece of iDontix X-floss and place it at the junction of the implant and gum and form a C-shape, wrapping the floss around the implant. Move the floss back and forth to dislodge any debris and then move the floss to the next area to clean
Interproximal brushes are like soft flexible tooth picks, able to remove plaque or food pieces from tight spaces.
Interprox PLUS 2G Conical removes plaque easily with its angled brush head to get a deep clean. It is a good all-purpose size, but is also available as Interprox PLUS 2G Mini Conical which is suited for tighter gaps. It can easily fit into a bag to carry with you throughout the day to remove any food traps after meals.
Mouthwashes and toothpastes
Mouthwashes flushes debris, freshens breath, kills bacteria and desensitizes gums. There are a vast array of mouthwashes on the market, many of which are suitable for implant care. It is best to avoid alcohol based mouthwashes. It is important to regularly see your dentist. They can perform professional cleans and review the overall health of the implant to ensure it is progressing nicely.
For choosing the toothpaste anything that’s not too abrasive should be fine. Abrasive ingredients include baking soda and stain remover. These ingredients are typically found in toothpastes designed for smokers, normal commercial products should be fine.