When you have dental implants, your oral hygiene care is more important than ever. If you don’t keep your new teeth clean enough, problems could develop and you could end up with implant failure.
Even though they can’t get decay, like natural teeth, dental implants still need to be cleaned just like your natural teeth. It’s important to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy to prevent gum disease and to maximize the chances of your implants remaining healthy and properly anchored for a lifetime.
The long-term success of your new smile relies on your oral hygiene routine. Many patients love using an electronic toothbrush vs a manual one. Your dentist may recommend an electric one to help protect your investment. You won’t be using it RIGHT AWAY, though! You should wait until they’ve fully integrated and are completely healed. Your dentist will advise you as to WHEN you can start using one. But, yes, once fully healed, you can use them.
HOW SONIC TOOTHBRUSHES WORK
Research shows both manual and electric toothbrushes are effective when used correctly. Unfortunately, many people don’t use the right brushing techniques, or they rush through it, leaving bacteria, plaque, food debris behind on their teeth and implants. As a result, an electric toothbrush can be more effective because they offer more brushstrokes per minute.
ELECTRIC toothbrushes have been around for decades. They provide anywhere from 2,500 to 7,000 strokes per minute, eliminating the need to brush manually.
SONIC toothbrushes vibrate at around 30,000 strokes per minute.
ARE ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSHES BETTER?
Many individuals who have implants, worry about the screws loosening over time if they use one of these devices. However, this is unlikely if the procedure is performed well by an experienced professional and the patient follows instructions for follow-up care.
Research has shown that electric and sonic toothbrushes, which do produce small vibrations in the mouth, are actually beneficial in preventing bone loss, gum disease and tooth decay. This type of stimulation is more likely to maintain the life of the implant when done correctly.
Sonic toothbrushes are effective at keeping your dental implants clean, because they can reach all of the nooks and crannies around the implanted teeth. However, brushing with a sonic toothbrush is NOT a substitute for flossing!
RISKS OF POOR ORAL HYGIENE AFTER IMPLANTS
One of the biggest potential problems with dental implants is a risk of infection. This can happen when the site is not kept properly cleaned. Patients who have implants should take extra care to develop and maintain healthy oral care routines and visit the dentist as often as is recommended (typically, every 6-months).
Dental implants are an effective solution for tooth replacement. It is always wise to consult your dentist on specific instructions. But in general, electric toothbrushes are often an excellent choice for daily care due to their ability to clean thoroughly and efficiently.
PROPER TECHNIQUE FOR HOMECARE
Many dental professionals recommend ONLY USING A MANUAL TOOTHBRUSH DURING THE FIRST FEW WEEKS AFTER IMPLANT PLACEMENT. This practice can help prevent irritation of sensitive tissues during the healing process. Once the area is healed, and you’ve been given the green light by your dentist, an electric toothbrush is an excellent choice for routine home cleaning.
Patients should be careful to apply only gentle pressure with gentle sweeping movements. Aggressive brushing can lead to gum irritation, enamel loss, or damage to the implant tooth. Regular flossing should also be part of your routine. Additionally, patients may benefit from using an oral irrigation system (water-pik) to clean beneath the gum line.