If you have recently gotten a dental implant to replace a damaged or missing tooth, you are probably feeling great about the way that you look and the way that your implant can help with normal day-to-day activities, such as eating. If you want to continue enjoying your dental implant for many years, it's important to take good care of it. Luckily, dental implants aren't too difficult to take care of, and brushing them, seeing your dentist regularly and otherwise practicing good oral hygiene are the main things that you should worry about. You should also avoid these three things if you want to take excellent care of your implant.
1. Smoke Cigarettes
You probably already know that smoking cigarettes is bad for your lungs and your heart, but you might not realize that it can be bad for your mouth as well. Smoking can cause bone loss in your jaw, which can cause a lot of problems. One main problem is that your dental implant could fail as the cigarette smoke causes your jaw bone to slowly recede, the implant being attached to your jaw bone.
2. Grind Your Teeth
Grinding your teeth isn't good for any of your teeth, including your implant. It can wear down your implant unevenly and prematurely, or it could cause your implant to chip or even fall out. If you grind your teeth in your sleep, you should talk to your dentist about this issue. He or she can help you by giving you a mouth guard to wear at night; this guard is designed to protect your teeth and prevent you from grinding them when you're sleeping. Not only will this help you protect your implant, but it will also help prevent you from damaging your other teeth.
3. Eat Overly Hard Foods
For the most part, you should be able to eat with your dental implant without any worries. However, you should be careful about biting down on particularly hard foods, such as hard candy. When eating hard foods, try to distribute the "work" evenly among several teeth rather than biting down specifically with your implant. Otherwise, you could accidentally chip your implant or otherwise cause it to fail.
Taking good care of your dental implant is important if you want to enjoy your investment for as long as possible. Luckily, avoiding these three things and practicing good at-home dental care should help you keep your dental implant in excellent condition. For more information, talk to a professional like Fuller Periodontics & Implant Dentistry.