Reduce The Risk Of Dental Implant Infection With These Easy Tips

Posted on: 7 January 2015

If your prosthodontist, someone like Jacqueline Subka DDS APC, has recently advised you that you are a good candidate for dental implants, you have much to look forward to. A brighter, more even smile can restore your confidence and help you to feel good about yourself, helping you to feel like you can go out and conquer the world. In the first few weeks after your procedure, preventing infection is vital to achieving the best result. Keeping this handy list of tips on hand can help to ensure that you maintain an extra-healthy mouth until healing is complete, giving you plenty to smile about.

Keep Your Mouth Clean

A clean mouth is a direct path to better healing. But that doesn't mean that it's time to break out the toothbrush or mouthwash; post-surgical oral care is a bit different than your normal routine. Because the gum tissue may be very tender and swollen for some time, you'll need to soften your methods a bit.

Firstly, don't stop brushing and flossing altogether--even if it causes a bit of mild irritation. Both of these are vital so that food isn't trapped between the teeth or at the gum line, where it can cause bacterial infection. Simply choose a softer brush and a lighter hand. As a general rule, brushing less briskly for a longer period of time will remove food while preventing irritation.

An infant toothbrush works quite well for people who have had implant surgery. Delicate and soft, they are designed to get the job done without harming tender gums.

Eat a Liquid Diet For a Few Days

All the Hollywood starlets are doing it--but you'll want to do it simply because it reduces irritation and pressure. Just remember that eating a liquid diet requires balance--you're not out to try and achieve a slim waistline here. As time goes on, you can gradually add soft foods at the point when your dentist gives the okay.

Hard, chewy and crunchy are a no-no for up to two weeks after your implant surgery. They'll put pressure on your new teeth and can even scrape against the gums, giving bacteria the perfect way to enter your body. So as much as that granola bar or apple may be calling to you--especially if you haven't been able to chew for a long time--skip them for the first few weeks.

The same is true of candy.

Rinse With Saline

Saline--or even just a cup of water with a teaspoon of sea salt dissolved in it--can be very helpful with post-surgical care. In fact, if you find mouthwash difficult to tolerate, it can be used in place of it with your oral surgeon's permission.

Saline helps in a number of different ways:

  • It can kill bacteria directly
  • It can inhibit bacteria from multiplying in the mouth
  • It can rinse away debris you can't reach
  • It can help to pull any wound fluid out and away from your new teeth
  • It can help to reduce swelling

It is possible to use medicated mouthwash, too, but these are usually indicated only after infection is present.

To make your own saline at home, boil two cups of water for no less than two minutes in a clean pot. Then, add in 2 teaspoons of salt and mix until dissolved. Allow this to cool to room temperature, and then use it in the same way you would use mouthwash--swish around your mouth and then spit it out. Discard any unused solution each time.

Overall, taking care of yourself after dental implant surgery is very similar to taking care of yourself after any other surgery. You'll need rest, plenty of fluids, and a nutritious diet--even if that diet has to be made up of liquids and soft foods for a while. Above all else, pay close attention to any specific instructions your surgeon gives you. Take medication on time and refrain from restricted activities when directed. While it may seem like you're giving up too much, the bright smile you'll win is well-worth the wait. For questions about post-surgical care, contact your prosthodontist today.