How to Care for a Dental Implant | Smile Stories

How to Care for a Dental Implant

how to care for a dental implant

At Smile Stories, we’re all about Lifetime Smile Confidence. The long term success of any cosmetic dental procedure depends on two people, us and you. Both of us have to put the work in to achieve and maintain excellent results. Obviously, some parts fall on the dental professionals but when you walk out the door, the onus is ultimately on you to look after the work on a day to day basis. We will talk you through and provide instructions to ensure your treatment and implants remain a success. We always provide clear instructions on how to care for a dental implant but our top tips are below.

Ensure the implant is cleaned thoroughly

One of the most vital things you need to be doing to look after your implant is maintaining excellent oral hygiene. In particular, brushing (with a soft bristle manual or electric brush) correctly and flossing your implant as you would any normal tooth. Ensure your toothpaste is low abrasive. An abrasive toothpaste is used specifically to help remove stains and debris from teeth, so you’ll want to avoid this one for your implant to ensure you don’t scratch it. When brushing and flossing make sure you reach around and under your implant to clean every surface.

Mouthwashes can be particularly helpful to flush out debris, but not in place of brushing. Brush first, then mouthwash.

Here are some of the tips we tell our clients:

–           An electric toothbrush is known to be more effective in removing plaque than a manual brush and is suitable to use on implants.

–           Dental floss or Superfloss is what we recommend using to clean between and under your implants.

–           Interdental brushes are a great addition to help clean the areas that are hard to reach.

Are there any foods I should be avoiding?

Let’s break this down into two-time frames. Immediately after surgery yes, you should aim to eat soft foods and drink lots of fluids. Your gums will likely be tender and a little sore so this makes sense. In the weeks following your placement surgery, you shouldn’t have any trouble with food and your implant will have bedded in.

Once you are fully healed you are not restricted in what foods you can eat. The beauty of implants is that as long as you follow the initial instructions, there are no food restrictions. Implants are fixed in place. They won’t rock or move when you eat, so even the toughest foods are a go.

Will smoking affect my dental implant?

We all know that smoking is generally bad for your health and your mouth is no exception. If you smoke and have implants placed, you’ll reduce the chance of them integrating into the bone. We’d therefore recommend no smoking in this healing phase while the implant merges with your body. The healing process of an implant takes a few months, and if you smoke it may be detrimental to your recovery.

Smoking over the long run can cause what we call peri-implantitis. This is where the bone and the gums around the implants shrink away and disintegrate. If the bone shrinks around the implant there will be less support holding it in. This means it’s more likely to fail.

Regularly visit your dentist and hygienist so they can care for your implant

If you don’t take care of your implants, plaque can build up and may cause gum disease which could lead to the loss of the implant, so it’s imperative to maintain excellent care.

We’d also recommend regular trips to see your dentist check on the implant’s integrity. To ensure the implant screw remains healthy, we advise Professional Hygienists Visits every three months. Prevention of a problem is always better than finding a cure.

How to care for a dental implant – The Summary

If you follow our instructions and look after your implants then they can last a lifetime. In fact, it’s not the implant that will fail at all. That piece of titanium will last thousands of years given the opportunity. It’s usually your body that will fail the implant.

Evidence suggests that dental implants have a 95% success rate over 10 years. Our team at Smile Stories have a 98% success rate and with proper care and regular dental visits, you’ll find your dental implants should last a lot longer than 10 years.

Looking for dental implants in Bournemouth or Dorset?

If you’re looking for dental implants in Bournemouth, our female Implant Dentist offers complimentary implant consultation to see if they’re right for you.


Dr Gareth Edwards BDS (Hons) MFDS RCPS (Glasg) is a dentist who qualified with honours. Based in the Poole and Bournemouth area, he has a keen interest in teeth straightening and aesthetic dentistry and is a certified Invisalign provider.

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