Flossing Around Your New Dental Implant: Tips And Tricks

You should care for your new dental implant like it was a natural tooth—for the most part. The implant's prosthetic tooth is made of porcelain, so it can't decay. But it can still harbor harmful oral bacteria that can affect your natural teeth, as well as your gums. This is why an implant's tooth still needs to be thoroughly brushed. But what about flossing? This is when caring for a dental implant's tooth can be a little different than a natural tooth.

Your Interdental Areas

The space between teeth is known as the interdental area. It must be cleaned with a view to removing trapped food debris. This is true regardless of whether the teeth in question are natural or prosthetic. Although you may floss your interdental areas on either side of a dental implant's prosthetic tooth, you could experience complications while doing so.

Gingival Tissues

The gum tissue around the base of a dental implant's tooth has undergone some trauma. Your dentist makes an incision in your gums to help place the implant in your jaw. Your gums subsequently regrew, and this was necessary for the base of the prosthetic tooth to be concealed by gingival tissues, which helps the implant appear natural. So what's wrong with using dental floss on the gums surrounding your implant?

Possible Complications

Blood supply to the gingival tissues around an implant may be precarious. Therefore, using dental floss runs the risk of lacerating your gums, creating excessive bleeding. Gum damage is theoretically possible, though unlikely. Failure to clean the interdental spaces around an implant isn't an option. Gum disease can arise, similar to gingivitis originating from the bacteria on a natural tooth. Infection of the gingival tissues may endanger dental implants, and if it spreads to the bone, may lead to implant failure. As such, you'll need to find a solution.

Floss Varieties and Accessories

Flossing is the accepted term for cleaning between your teeth, but flossing actually refers to using dental floss. Remember that floss is available in many different varieties, and you may have a better experience with slightly wider floss, which can be kinder to your gums. Using a floss threader can also be helpful, as it allows for greater precision.

Other Tools

Dental floss isn't the only way to clean the area around your dental implant's tooth. Try using an interproximal brush, which is a tiny, ultra-thin brush used to clean between your teeth. These can be less harsh than dental floss. Not all interproximal brushes are the same, so be sure to check the measurements on the packaging. Aim for a smaller brush, as you'll need to be able to comfortably move it back and forth between your teeth.

It's crucial to clean the interdental spaces on either side of your dental implant's prosthetic tooth. But this cleaning doesn't technically have to involve dental floss. Reach out to a dentist for more information.