Quality dental implants look and behave like natural teeth and need similar care, such as daily brushing and flossing. Listed below are 3 reasons it’s important to floss your dental implants.
Keep in mind, though, that you can’t just use any floss with dental implants. You need floss that’s gentle enough to protect the tissue surrounding your implants and that won’t fray, leaving debris in your mouth. Patients at Taylor General & Cosmetic Dentistry who have a fixed bridge may be advised to use floss with a floss-threader. Other implant-friendly options include:
- Specialized floss designed for implants
- Unwaxed dental tape
- A Waterpik water flosser
1. Flossing Your Dental Implants Stops Plaque Build-Up
Plaque collects up on dental implants, just as it does with natural teeth. The difference is that dental implants have a weak attachment to your tissue as compared to natural teeth, which allows infection to spread at a faster rate.
If you don’t regularly remove plaque, you can develop complications like inflamed or bleeding gums and peri-implantitis, a form of gingivitis specific to implants. This fast-moving infection can damage gum tissue and spur bone loss, putting you at risk of losing your implant.
2. Flossing Your Dental Implants Helps Prevent Tartar
When food particles and plaque build up on your implant, it can harden into tartar. Tartar can wreak havoc, cosmetically speaking. This crusty deposit makes natural teeth, dentures and dental implants alike more likely to absorb stains from highly pigmented food and drink and from smoking.
Along with being unsightly, tartar is one of the leading causes of gum disease. Gum disease can lead to receding gums, which can expose the base of your crown. Receding gums can also allow bacteria to flourish around your implant, which can cause bone damage. It’s a perfect storm that can lead to implant loss, something you want to prevent given the investment you’ve made in your dental hardware. Because tartar creates such a strong bond with your implant, removing it will require the special tools and expertise of a dentist.
3. Flossing Your Implants Helps Prevent Bad Breath
If you have particles of food stuck in your dental implants, you’re likely to develop bad breath as they decay. Bad breath can also be caused by plaque buildup. As with regular teeth, one of the best ways to prevent and resolve these problems is by daily flossing. You can also use mouthwash or salt rinses to stave off halitosis (a fancy word for bad breath).
An unpleasant odor or bad taste in your mouth can may also be a sign of infection. If you suspect this is the case, come see Dr. Taylor—your resident oral care expert in Billings, Montana—as soon as possible.
Along with exercising proper home care, you should get your implants cleaned by a dentist on a regular basis, preferably every 3 to 4 months. It’s the best way to keep your mouth healthy and your implants intact. Professional polishing is just one of the many services offered at Taylor General & Cosmetic Dentist. Contact us today to make your appointment.