Flossing remains to be one of the most important, if not the most important, things a person can do to ensure their teeth are clean. Did you know that only 4 in 10 Americans floss their teeth daily? And 20% of Americans never floss their teeth at all! Failure to floss can be detrimental to the health of all your teeth, including your dental implants. Here’s how flossing with dental implants can keep your smile shining for years to come.
Flossing Should Be Routine
To understand why it’s important to floss dental implants, we must first understand why it’s important to floss your natural teeth. Teeth collect plaque from leftover food particles throughout the day. Plaque can develop into tartar, a hard substance filled with bacteria, which sticks to your teeth and increases the risk of gum disease, root decay, and other oral health problems. Chronic bad breath, red and swollen gums, and periodontal disease are all common complications of plaque. Flossing and brushing every day is the best defense against this nasty bacteria.
Flossing with Dental Implants
An implant may not be one of your “natural” teeth, but this doesn’t mean you should skip flossing it. While it is true that implants may not develop cavities, it’s still important to keep the gum tissue surrounding the implant healthy. Failure to do so will result in oral complications, like gum disease. Infected or inflamed gums may mean implant failure and could put your other teeth at risk.
Flossing can be done before or after you brush your teeth.
- Take 12 inches of floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving some space to work with.
- Gently slide the dental floss up and down between the teeth, making sure you hit the sides of your implant.
- Create a “C” with the floss and work the base of the tooth.
- Once done with that tooth, grab a new piece of floss and move on to the next tooth.
While flossing with dental implants, be careful not to push the floss into the gum pockets. Natural teeth are attached to the gums via a strong ligament. However, dental implants are attached to the gums with a peri-implant seal. This seal is weak, lacks pain nerves, and thus can break very easily. When this happens, bacteria can enter your gums and jawbone, increasing the risk of losing your implant. Remember to floss with care!
Other Flossing Methods
If you’re worried about pushing too far into your gum pocket or causing injury, other flossing methods available for dental implant patients include:
- Floss picks: Floss picks made it simple to access those hard-to-reach places. Use curved picks for better access.
- Interdental brushes: Interdental brushes are small bristles that can fit between your teeth. Gently scrub back and forth to remove debris and plaque.
- Water Flossing: A water floss is a handheld tool that streams water between your teeth and at your gum line. You can clean your implant without damaging the surrounding tissue.
When it comes to flossing with dental implants, there are a lot of options. So there’s no excuse for not flossing!
Center Valley Dental Can Help
Have more questions about flossing with dental implants? Or questions about dental implants in general? Our team has the answers and the support to help you keep your implants and smile in tip-top shape.
If you’re looking to replace your missing teeth and achieve a fuller, healthier, and happier smile, our team at Center Valley Dental offers implants, crowns, and more. Located only minutes from Allentown and Bethlehem, PA, we have helped hundreds of patients smile again. Schedule an appointment today.