At The Sugar House Dentist in Salt Lake City, one of the first things dental implant patients usually want to know is: Do I need to change my flossing technique for my new implant?
We hope that before you got your implant, you were brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once. If you wore dentures, you should have been cleaning them with a denture paste and brushing the soft tissues in your mouth.
An implant requires brushing and flossing as well, but the procedure is a little different. Food particles can get stuck in areas around the implant, and you’ll need to be sure you get it out.
Criss-Cross Shoe Shine
Insert the floss behind the implant and bring both ends through to the front. Cross the strings, and switch hands so your hands aren’t crossed. Now move in a shoe-shine motion to clean all around the implant. If you don’t, you risk gum inflammation, which in turn can lead to peri0implant mucositis, a condition similar to gingivitis.
The key to avoiding this is daily care above and below the gumline. There are lots of different kinds of floss out there. Unwaxed tape is really good on implants. Oral irrigators like the Waterpik do a really good job.
Gentle and Thorough
When brushing, use a soft toothbrush and low-abrasive toothpaste. Vigorous brushing can damage the soft tissues in your mouth and bring about gum recession.
You can use a manual brush, electric, or sonic type. If it is not easy for you to brush with a manual brush, try an electric or sonic style. A sonic toothbrush is like a super-charged electric brush that delivers up to 16,000 strokes per minute.
Some patients are advised to use an interproximal brush to clean around the implant area. You may also be prescribed an antimicrobial mouth rinse. This is an measure of protection if you have diminished mobility or are susceptible to inflammation.
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