Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime, but while they are extremely strong, there are a few everyday habits that can damage them.
Whether you already have dental implants in the Capital District or are still considering them, here are 5 habits you’ll need to break to ensure that your new smile will stick around for as long as possible.
1. Skipping Brushing & Flossing
While dental implants can’t get cavities themselves, if a patient routinely skips their daily oral hygiene, they can develop an infection that weakens the gum and bone tissue that is keeping their new teeth in place, leading to them becoming loose and unstable. Thankfully, brushing twice a day, flossing in the evening, and using mouthwash are all that’s needed to prevent this from happening.
2. Tobacco Use
Smoking and chewing tobacco dramatically raise a person’s risk of gum disease, which can compromise the strength and longevity of dental implants. In multiple studies, tobacco use has been shown to increase the likelihood of implant failure by two to three times. This is why patients are required to quit at least temporarily right before and after their implant surgery.
3. Chewing on Ice or Fingernails
While it may be tempting to chew on the ice leftover after finishing a cold drink, this can easily lead to a chipped or dislodged dental implant restoration. Biting fingernails not only places a lot of stress on the jaw at odd angles, but it also introduces bacteria to the mouth that can lead to infections.
4. Using Teeth as Tools
Your teeth are designed to facilitate your abilities to eat and speak, and that’s it. Of course, many people utilize them to open packages, bottles, and remove clothing tags. While they might seem innocuous, the force applied to the teeth in these situations can easily damage implants.
5. Missing Dental Appointments
Dental implant patients should visit their dentist at least twice a year for a checkup and cleaning. These appointments not only allow the team to remove harmful plaque and bacteria from the mouth, but they also give the dentist a chance to inspect the implants and restorations. If they find an issue, they can take care of it right away before it leads to bigger problems down the line. Otherwise, an issue might not become apparent until it is too late.
With dental implants, a patient is able to enjoy a full and healthy smile again, and by getting rid of a few troublesome habits, they will have the peace of mind that their new teeth are guaranteed to stand the test of time.
About Capital Smiles
Dr. Erin Page and Dr. Shiloh Lieberman lead the team at Capital Smiles, and they both have advanced training in dental implant procedures as well as sedation. If you would like to know more about dental implants and what they could do for you, you can get in touch with our office to ask a question or schedule a consultation by clicking here.