If you find yourself isolating at home during COVID-19, we gathered some tips for caring for your dental implants, dentures, retainers, and dental bridges at home. We’ll also cover what to do if you experience certain oral health issues during this time.
How To Care for Dental Implants At Home
Dental implants do not require much maintenance, but they do need to be cleaned and cared for consistently. Home dental care, good oral hygiene, and regularly cleaning your dental implants helps decrease the risk of infections and prolong the lifespan of the dental implants.
Without proper and consistent cleaning, plaque can build up around dental implants and cause an infection called peri-implantitis. As with gum disease, peri-implantitis puts surrounding teeth at risk of damage and may lead to bone loss in the jaw.
To lower your risk of dental implant infections, dentists recommend:
- Flossing regularly (at least once to twice a day), including between the implant and the surrounding teeth
- Cut down on your sugar intake (sugar feeds bacteria and cause increase the build-up of plaque)
- Brush your teeth, including around your dental implant, at least twice a day with a soft toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste in gentle, circular motions
Even with proper care, problems with dental implants do occasionally arise. These issues require professional evaluation by your dentist to ensure the problems do not turn serious.
Contact your dentist immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms with your dental implants:
- Redness or sore gums around the implant
- The implant or crown feeling loose
- Difficulty chewing
- Swelling around the implant
How To Care for a Dental Bridge At Home
Dental bridges are generally easy to care for by following your regular oral hygiene routine. Additional tips for preventing problems with your dental bridge include:
- Do not chew on or bite non-food objects such as pencils, pens, fingernails, or ice cubes
- Avoid sticky or very hard foods
- Floss and brush your teeth twice a day
Common dental bridge issues include:
- The bridge falling out or feeling loose
- Chips or cracks in the artificial teeth
- A toothache or sensitivity around the bridge
If you are experiencing issues or worried about your dental bridge, be sure to contact your dentist.
How To Care for Your Dentures At Home
If you care for your dentures the same as you would care for natural teeth, this helps prevent oral health problems such as gum disease and other issues such as bad breath.
To care for dentures, it is recommended to:
- Use a cleaning solution specifically designed for dentures at least once a week
- Remove your dentures before to going to sleep, unless your dentist advises you otherwise
- Store your dentures away from heat sources or direct sunlight
- Clean your dentures daily using warm water, liquid soap, and a toothbrush
- Brush any remaining teeth and your gums twice a day with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste
Common denture problems include:
- Feeling loose
- Feeling uncomfortable or painful
Although it is normal for dentures to feel uncomfortable when you first get them, this discomfort should fade as you adjust to them. Staying consistent with your oral hygiene can help reduce inflammation that leads to sensitivity and pain.
If your dentures are damaged or causing you discomfort, please contact your dentist immediately.
How To Care for Retainers At Home
Wearing a retainer is a key part of successful orthodontic treatment. It is important to follow your orthodontist’s or dentist’s instructions regarding how long to wear your retainer. This will prevent your teeth from becoming crooked or moving back to their original position. It is also important to maintain your retainer with proper hygiene to prevent oral health problems.
Here are some tips to look after your retainer:
- If your retainer is fixed, brush and floss your teeth as normal, especially around your retainer.
- If your retainer is removable, wash it with a cleaner specifically designed for retainers or with cold water and liquid soap.
- If you lose your retainer, contact your orthodontist or dentist immediately for a replacement.
123 Dental Is Here For You
The safety and wellness of our staff, patients, and community is our top priority and we hope to do everything we can to make it easy for you to keep your oral health in top condition.
If you have questions on caring for your teeth at home, are experiencing issues, or need advice, please know that we are only a phone call away. Our caring team would be glad to walk you through any problems you are experiencing or get you an appointment if needed.