Once a person has received dental implants, they may feel like their dental cares are over. But dental implants require the same careful oral hygiene as natural teeth, which includes flossing.
Our dentists at Riverside Dental Care place many dental implants in a single year, and one of the major pieces of care advice they give is to floss the dental implant. If you aren’t sure that your dental implant really needs flossing, we have five reasons why you should start this crucial practice today.
1. Trapped Food Debris Can Only Be Removed By Flossing
Certain foods, such as sticky candy and popcorn kernels, can only be quickly removed by flossing. While they may disintegrate over time and come loose from the dental implant, that process can take weeks.
During that time, the food will attract enamel-destroying bacteria to the natural teeth next to your dental implant and can cause your gums to become infected. With a regular flossing routine, you can remove food particles long before they create problems.
2. Regular Dental Implant Flossing Helps Prevent Gum Disease
Not only can food particles irritate your gums, but they can also lead to periodontal disease. This type of gum disease is serious, causing bad breath, loose teeth, bleeding gums, receding gums, and even tooth loss. Flossing around your dental implant as well as your other teeth is a key way to prevent periodontal disease.
Also, if you are interested in other cosmetic dentistry services, you will need to ensure your oral health is in good order before our dentists proceed.
3. Peri-Implantitis Can Be Prevented With Good Oral Hygiene
Oddly enough, some people will floss their natural teeth but not their dental implants. Without proper care, a dental implant can experience a localized infection around the implant post, called peri-implantitis. This type of gum infection can cause the entire implant to fail, so you should be flossing around your implant to prevent it.
4. Flossed Implants Help Protect Jawbones
Trapped food particles and bacteria can also affect the jawbones. As the bacteria leads to a gum infection, an uncontrolled infection can spread from the gums to the jaw. Once the infection has taken root in the jaw, the jawbone density can be affected and cause the dental implant to fail.
You may require bone grafts before another implant can be placed if the infection is bad enough. Flossing can help stop infections at the source by keeping your gums free of leftover food particles.
5. Keep Implant-Supported Bridgework From Failing By Flossing
Flossing around implanted dental bridges and implanted dentures is also important to protect the implants from failing. Since the teeth of these structures are acrylic, sometimes people do not consider it important to floss. However, the area below the implant-supported bridgework needs to be kept free of debris.
A floss threader is usually needed to floss the area between the bridgework and the gums, or a type of floss with a stiffer end than regular floss. Our dentist can make floss recommendations to ensure the health of your implant-supported bridgework.
For dental implants, biannual exams, and other dental procedures, contact us to set up an appointment today.
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