Three Things You May Have To Give Up After Getting Dental Implants
Dental implants can last a lifetime if they're cared for properly but, like regular teeth, they can be damaged by your lifestyle choices and habits. If you want to make sure your implants remain beautiful and functional for as long as possible, here are three things you might have to give up.
Many people are surprised to learn dental implants can be stained just like regular teeth. Unfortunately, unlike the chompers you're born with, implants do not respond to teeth whitening products. So, if they become discolored, your only option for fixing the problem would be to replace the crown with a new one.
Only people who've had missing front teeth replaced by implants have to worry about this, though, since back teeth are rarely seen. If you want to make sure your implants stay pearly white, you'll give up foods and drinks that are known to stain teeth, such as wine, coffee, and berries.
At minimum, you'll need to be a bit more vigilant with your oral care routine and make adjustments to how you eat and drink if you choose to continue consuming these foods. For instance, rinse your mouth with water within 30 minutes of eating or drinking to remove any residue and use a straw whenever possible.
There are numerous other things you can do to keep your implants from being stained, so consult with your dentist for advice.
Candy and Other Hard Foods
Dental implants are tough, particularly molar replacements, which can withstand the same chewing forces regular teeth deal with. Having said that, though, they can suffer mechanical damage from chewing on hard foods, such as candy and ice, especially in the months after getting the implants when the site is healing from surgery.
To understand why hard foods can be problematic, it's important to learn a bit about how implants work. An implant post is placed inside the jaw where, over a period of months, it integrates into the bone. While this provides strength and stability to crowns, it can also be a source of weakness, particularly if you have underlying conditions that negatively affect bone health.
Consistently crunching on hard foods can cause the implant post to loosen over time. Additionally, those foods may cause microtears in the crown that can morph into chips and cracks.
Some hard foods are necessary for good health, such as nuts and seeds, so it may not be realistic to give them up completely. However, it's a good idea to consume them less frequently or to find other ways to enjoy them. Eating sliced almonds rather than whole almonds or learning to suck on ice instead of chewing it, for example, are good options. Making these changes may be hard in the beginning, but ensuring your implants last a long time is worth the effort.
Smoking is a tough habit to break, but there are several reasons you should if you want to avoid problems with your dental implants. First, smoking increases the risk of implant failure, up to 20 percent when compared to the rate of failure in non-smokers. Part of this is because nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, meaning it causes your blood vessels to narrow, making it harder for blood to pass through.
Since your blood is a vehicle for nutrients, white blood cells, and oxygen, your cells may not get what they need to heal from infections and stay healthy. If your implant becomes infected, your body won't be able to fight it off properly, increasing the chances of long-lasting damage that leads to failure.
Second, smoking stains teeth. As noted previously, tooth whiteners do not work on dental implants. So, discolored implants will have to be replaced if you want your teeth nice and clean.
To learn more about taking care of your dental implants, contact a cosmetic dentist in your area.