Dental implants are the state-of-the-art replacement method for one or several missing teeth. While implants provide a strong and natural tooth replacement, there is always a small risk of infection after the implant is placed. Here are three things you can do to minimize the chances of an infection after dental implant surgery.
Eat Soft Foods During Recovery
Food particles that get trapped in the gum line or in the spaces between teeth and implants are the leading cause of plaque buildup and peri-implant infection (infection of the tissues surrounding the implant). Even if you maintain good dental hygiene, it can be difficult to remove 100 percent of stubborn food particles that have lodged themselves in hard-to-reach places. The best way to protect new implants from infection caused by leftover food particles is to choose what you eat carefully.
Certain soft foods leave fewer particles behind both because they require less chewing and because it is easier for saliva to rinse them away from your teeth. Examples of soft foods that you can eat during recovery from dental implant surgery include soups, mashed potatoes, soft fish such as baked tilapia, and applesauce.
Use a Specialized Cleaning Tool
While the tissues around a new dental implant are still sore and healing, it can be painful to apply the pressure necessary to properly clean the base of the implant. Fortunately, there are specialized tools that can remove plaque and food particles around implants without causing any pain during your recovery. One of the most popular options is a water flosser, which uses a small rotating head and a jet of water to gently clean implants without applying excess pressure to the gums.
Limit or Quit Smoking
While dental health may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to health risks of smoking, tobacco smoke significantly increases the risk of infection following dental implant installation. Additionally, smoking causes a number of negative affects that contribute to the loss of natural teeth and make eventual failure of dental implants more likely.
Tobacco smoke contributes to infection around new implants by inhibiting the body's immune response. Smoking reduces blood flow to oral tissues, limiting their ability to fight bacteria that causes inflammation of the socket around the implant. Smoking further promotes infection by reducing saliva production, allowing more food and bacteria to cling to your teeth.
Use these tips to avoid peri-implant infections so your new implants can heal correctly and stay strong for years to come. Contact a company like Webster Cosmetic Dental LTD for more information.