A dental implant is an excellent option for replacing a tooth that is already missing or one that is so damaged or decayed it can't be fixed by a dentist. Your new dental implant will restore your smile and confidence, look completely natural, and be very easy to care for. While dental implants are fairly low maintenance, there are a few things you need to keep in mind in the hours and days following your dental implant procedure. Here are three important aftercare tips for your dental implant:
Plan Ahead for the Day of Surgery
You will be groggy and under the influence of pain medication and anesthesia when you leave your appointment, so it's very important to arrange for a ride home ahead of time. You will also need to schedule a few days off of work to rest and let your mouth heal, so be sure to have the time off approved early. It's also a good idea to pick up your pain medication and antibiotics prescriptions before your surgery so you already have them on hand.
Plan to Baby Your Implant at First
Your mouth will be tender and sore in the initial days after your dental implant procedure, and it's a good idea to baby it a bit to allow for faster healing. Avoid food that is too hot, crunchy, or chewy. Instead, opt for soft, bland food such as pudding, macaroni and cheese, or a fruit smoothie. Try to avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where the implant is for the first couple of days after your oral surgery. Avoid prodding or poking at your implant, even though you may be curious about how it feels, as this can further prolong your healing process.
Rinse with Saltwater
Your oral surgeon will give you specific instructions for your unique situation, but in general you will need to avoid brushing your implant for the first day or so and instead rinse your mouth with warm saltwater a few times a day. This is soothing and cleansing for your gums and mouth around your implant and will help with the healing process. Avoid overly aggressive gargling, instead opting to keep each saltwater rinsing session gentle and short.
By following these tips, you will be comfortable after your dental implant surgery and have peace of mind that you aren't doing anything to hurt your implant or your mouth. Talk with a dentist like Kenneth Schweizer DDS PA to learn more about caring for dental implants.