Post-Operative Care for Fast, Successful Recovery
Once your dental implant treatment is complete, the first few days with your new restoration are crucial. We recommend that you:
- Stay clear of hard foods that can damage your implant. Dr. Alfano advises his patients to choose soft or pureed foods and clear liquids for the first couple of days.
- Don’t use straws, spit, or do anything that could dislodge the blood clot. Doing so can prevent the surgical site from fully healing.
- Rinse with salt water multiple times a day to clean the area around the implant and reduce inflammation. Instead of spitting the water out, try letting it flow from the corner of your mouth.
- Avoid smoking or excessive alcohol consumption — they can reduce blood flow and hinder the healing process.
Long-Term Dental Implant Care
After the initial healing process, follow these suggestions to ensure that your dental implant remains healthy and attractive for years to come.
Maintain Correct Oral Care
People often forget that your gums support your implant as your jawbone does. For this reason, Dr. Alfano encourages his patients to thoroughly remove disease-causing bacteria and food particles. If done properly, you’re ensuring that your gums, implant, and entire smile stays healthy.
Consistent oral care — brushing twice a day and flossing after meals — paves your way toward long-term dental implant success. We also recommend that our patients rinse using mouthwash following your oral care routine — this makes sure that any leftover debris or germs are eliminated.
Choose the Best Dental Care Products
One of the most sought after features of dental implants is their natural care regimen. While you can brush and floss them as you would your natural teeth, there are a few guidelines that we advise when shopping for oral care products. Avoiding products that can scratch or damage your restoration will keep it looking beautiful in the future.
- Toothbrush: Avoid irritating your gum tissue or scratching the restoration by choosing one with soft bristles. The softer, the better.
- Toothpaste: Avoid whitening products or products that contain harsh, abrasive ingredients.
- Floss: Some companies make floss specifically for patients with dental implants. You can also use nylon-coated floss because it’s designed to glide gently across your gums and against your restoration.
- Mouthwash: Avoid any that contain alcohol — it can dry out your mouth and impede the healing process.
Contact Balboa Island Dentistry for Routine Checkups
Now that you have an attractive dental implant, your routine visits to see Dr. Alfano are even more vital. During this time, he’ll thoroughly clean your teeth and examine your oral structure for any potential issues. If he finds anything, we begin treatment as early as possible to avoid further damage.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to recover from dental implant surgery?
After your dental implant is placed, your jaw will need anywhere from two to six months to bond with it. This process is called osseointegration and it’s the reason your implant will look and function like a natural tooth.
Your jaw will be especially sensitive during the first week or two after surgery, so it’s crucial to follow any post-op instructions from Dr. Alfano during this time. As your implant site heals, you can gradually resume your normal diet and physical activities.
Which foods should I avoid after dental implant surgery?
For the first week or two after your surgery, you’ll want to limit your diet to soft foods and avoid hot liquids such as coffee or soup. Dr. Alfano recommends items like smoothies, applesauce, eggs, cheese, yogurt, and potatoes to help your implant heal properly. Until you’re further along in the healing process, it’s essential to avoid foods that fit into any of the following categories:
- Tough (steak, raw vegetables)
- Crunchy (chips, popcorn)
- Sticky (caramel, taffy)
- Chewy (gummies, bread/bagels)
- Spicy (hot peppers, salsa)
- Acidic (citrus, tomatoes)