A dental implant is an effective way to bring back your wonderful smile—and it’s nice to know the minimally invasive procedure only requires a modest recovery phase.
Although a certain degree of discomfort accompanies every dental procedure, there are a few simple steps you can take to minimize the pain. And by following these five simple aftercare tips, you’ll speed up the recovery process and enhance your overall dental hygiene.
1. Avoid Hot & Sticky Foods
Your mouth is going to feel sore and swollen for several days following the procedure, especially in the area immediately surrounding the implant. And considering your teeth will be feeling extra sensitive at this time, it’s essential to give them a rest by avoiding hard-to-chew foods.
Anything hard or sticky is a big no-no, so be sure to give things like apples, candies, dried fruits, and crusty bread a wide berth. Now is also not the time to be consuming hot food and drinks as these can enhance the sensitivity of your teeth and gums. Give the coffee a miss and opt for a nice glass of ice-cold water instead.
2. Treat the Swelling
Swollen gums are a normal side effect of the procedure, so don’t panic if your mouth feels a little sensitive for a while. The most effective natural way to treat the discomfort is by applying an icepack to the affected area every 15 minutes or as required. Remember: if you don’t have a proper icepack at hand, a bag of frozen peas will do just fine.
A dentist will usually prescribe painkillers after the procedure, typically a moderate strength mix of ibuprofen, paracetamol, and/or codeine. For best results, start taking these before the anaesthetic wears off so they can kick in before the numbness subsides.
Dental implant discomfort usually fades away after three days and isn’t overly unpleasant if you keep up with these treatments.
3. Don’t Brush or Floss the Affected Area
A good dentist will never tell you to stop brushing your teeth—however, immediately after a dental implant, it’s crucial to take it easy on the affected area.
Brush your teeth vigorously before the operation, so they’re all nice and clean in preparation for the recovery phase. On the first evening after the procedure, you should resume a scaled back brushing and flossing regime, taking care to avoid the affected area. A small-headed toothbrush with flexible and ultra-soft bristles will help you reach your other teeth without accidentally scraping against the sensitive ones.
It’ll take several days before the affected area is ready for brushing again, and the precise recovery period varies from person to person. Lay off on brushing and flossing the surgical site until it stops hurting.
4. Use a Saltwater Mouthwash
Bacteria can cause nasty complications during the dental implant recovery phase, so you need to be proactive in upping your dental hygiene. Thankfully, the most effective solution is incredibly simple: rinse your mouth out regularly with saltwater.
Three teaspoons of salt mixed into a glass of warm (not hot) water will create a powerful antiseptic solution that kills bacteria in its tracks. Swish the saline solution around the surgical site to ensure it covers the entirety of the affected area. But be sure to do so gently, as you don’t want to provoke unnecessary pain in your sensitive new tooth.
5. Stop Touching the Surgical Site
You’ve got a brand new tooth in your mouth, and it feels wonderfully foreign, so it’s natural you’ll want to explore the exciting new area with the tip of your tongue. Although perhaps easier said than done, try to resist the urge to rub your tongue around the implant and affected area—this will only prolong the time it takes to recover.
Getting a dental implant can improve your quality of life immeasurably by restoring your beautiful long-lost smile. And by following these five simple aftercare tips, you’ll be able to breeze through the recovery phase in record time and with minimal discomfort. Get in touch with your favourite dentist in Blackburn to enquire about dental implants today.