If you have missing or damaged teeth, your doctor may recommend all-on-4 dental implants. All-on-4 implants are anchored to your upper or lower jawbone with four titanium screws, offering you a permanent solution to replace your missing teeth. If you're a candidate for all-on-4 implant surgery, you may be curious how to care for your new smile once you have it. Read on to learn more about avoiding problems with your new implants to keep them looking their best.
1. Go Easy After Dental Implant Surgery
Your doctor will likely give you some pretty specific instructions about how to care for yourself and your new teeth after surgery. For the first few days, you'll likely feel a fair amount of soreness and you'll probably just want to rest, but once you're up and about, it's important to take it easy.
To help your body recover and heal, don't disturb the surgical areas, rinse at least a few times a day, and brush very gently. Be sure to visit your doctor after surgery for a post-op appointment to make sure that everything looks as it should.
2. Avoid These Foods Until You're Healed
Once you have your new teeth, you'll likely be excited to give them a try! However, it can take a few weeks for your all-on-4 dental implants to heal completely and, during this time, it's a good idea to avoid certain foods that may irritate your mouth or delay the recovery process.
In the first few days after surgery, you'll want to eat soft or blended foods. And then, for at least two weeks after surgery, avoid:
- Crunchy foods like apples, carrots, and potato chips
- Foods that require a lot of tough chewing like steak
- Beverages that are acidic or sugary, including alcohol
- Drinks that are very hot or very cold
3. Learn Proper Cleaning Techniques
In many ways, caring for your new implants is similar to caring for your natural teeth. Brushing, flossing, and rinsing are all important. But one of the things that make implants different from natural teeth is they don't fit quite as tightly into your gums, which means that debris can get caught in any gaps, sometimes leading to infection.
In order to prevent this, your dentist may recommend that you use a rubber-tipped gum stimulator. These tools have a pointy rubber tip that is great for getting into small crevices and removing food particles. In addition, an oral irrigator like a Waterpick can do a great job of removing debris.
4. Use The Right Toothpaste And Toothbrush
You should always use a soft-bristled manual or electric toothbrush to clean your implants. Though they are strong, dental implants can be scratched by abrasive toothbrushes or whitening toothpastes.
Our natural teeth need a slightly abrasive toothpaste to polish them, but over time, products like these will only cause damage to your implants. Ask your dentist what type of toothpaste they recommend, and don't forget to brush at least twice a day, using gentle, circular motions.
5. Visit Your Doctor For Help
After your implant surgery, you'll need a post-op check-up to make sure everything is healing properly. After that, it's important to keep up with seeing your doctor every few months. Though it's uncommon to have any issues with all-on-4 dental implants, if you do have any, your doctor will be able to diagnose them early and fix them before they become more of a problem. Make sure to schedule appointments at least every six months.