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Taking Care of Your Dental Implants

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Dental implants require major surgery. After you get past the pain and the grog of anesthesia wearing off, you may still have some pain with which to contend. Thankfully, this pain should be short-lived and tolerable if you use pain medication from the dentist. Over the next few weeks, and for the rest of your life, you will need to take good care of your implants. Even though they are fake teeth, they can still wear down like your natural teeth. They can break too, under certain circumstances. Here is an abbreviated guide on how to care for your implants once you have them.

Brush and Floss

Yes, these are fake teeth, but guess what? Food and drink can still discolor them and get stuck in between the fake and real teeth. Not only will your fake teeth remain in nicer condition, but your real teeth will thank you also. This is especially true of any implants you have that sit between two of your natural teeth, since most people tend to forget that your real teeth can still decay on the surfaces in between when you do not brush and floss normally.

Protect Them From Bruxism

The human jaw can exert several pounds of force per square inch. On natural teeth that leads to worn and broken teeth. Implants are only slightly less impervious, but over time bruxism will wear down your implants too. (Bruxism is another word for "grinding teeth," and more often than not, grinding teeth in your sleep.) If your dentist is already aware of the fact that you grind your teeth at night, he or she may suggest a nighttime mouth guard to protect your teeth and your implants while you sleep.

Avoid Physical Fights at All Costs

Sure, dental implants are tough, and yes, they are screwed into your jaw, but that does not mean blows to the face will not damage them. The screws themselves may stay put, but the tooth caps that go over the screws can be knocked loose or, worse, cracked and chipped. Since your implants were undoubtedly an expensive investment, you may want to reconsider throwing punches with someone when you take a moment to realize what it will cost to replace a single implant if it is damaged. Preserve your implants by just walking away from an argument that looks like it might turn physical in a hurry.