Cleaning Dental Implants and Restorations

By Eugene D. Stanislaus on June 30, 2020


older female patient undergoing dental exam

When it comes to teeth replacement, dental implants offer the longest-lasting solution. To keep your implants in excellent condition, proper care and maintenance is required. Fortunately, cleaning dental implants and restorations does not require a lot of extra work. However, there are some basic guidelines you should know that will help preserve your oral health – and the appearance of your smile – for many years to come.

At our Brooklyn Heights, NY, practice, Drs. Eugene Stanislaus and Lisa Reid place and restore dental implants to give our patients the healthy, beautiful smiles they desire. Here, they offer up some tips and tricks for prolonging the life of your restorations.

Cleaning Single Implants

If you are missing one tooth, it can be replaced with a single implant and dental crown. You can care for this restoration the same way you brush natural teeth. Just make sure you clean all surfaces and focus on the gum line to sweep away disease-causing bacteria.

Flossing a dental implant is a little bit different. First, it is important to understand how this restoration differs from a natural tooth root. While a natural tooth has four sides, an implant is cylindrical. Therefore, floss can actually be wrapped all the way around a dental implant and manipulated in a “shoeshine” motion. In some instances, our Brooklyn team may recommend using other tools as well, such as interproximal brushes or dental picks.

Cleaning Implant Bridges and Overdentures

Individuals missing several or all of their teeth may have fixed implant bridges or overdentures. Unlike removable implant-supported dentures, these restorations are permanently attached and can only be removed by a dental professional. Therefore, it is important to clean them thoroughly between office visits.

To clean underneath an implant bridge or overdenture, patients may use floss threaders, interproximal brushes, or other similar tools. Many individuals want to know if water flossers are beneficial for cleaning dental implants and restorations. In short, yes. These devices help dislodge large food particles and other debris that become trapped underneath the restorations. Keep in mind, however, that waterpiks are not meant to replace floss. They should be used in conjunction with traditional floss for optimal oral health.

What Kind of Toothpaste Should I Use?

Most dental implant restorations are made from medical-grade ceramic, zirconia, or a similar material. When cleaning the teeth, be sure to choose a non-abrasive gel, rather than a paste. Many toothpaste formulas contain harsh ingredients that could ultimately damage the restorations. If you still have some of your natural teeth, you should be using a fluoride toothpaste to reduce the risk of cavities.

What Kind of Toothbrush Should I Use?

Our Brooklyn, NY, team always recommends using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Medium or hard brushes not only erode natural enamel, but they also damage dental restorations, as well. As long as you are using appropriate brushing techniques, a soft brush should clean the teeth effectively.

Learn More about Dental Implants

Part of maintaining your dental implants and restorations is attending routine dental exams and cleanings. Regular office visits allow us to assess your implants and detect any potential problems before they start. To learn more about dental implants, or to schedule an appointment at our Fort Greene practice, call us at (718) 857-6639 or contact us online.

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