Replacing missing teeth or an ill-fitting denture with the All-On-4 dental implant system is a life-changing decision. Dr. Vinh Huynh, DMD in Mesa, AZ wants you to protect your investment and keep your implants healthy for a lifetime.
Why is Home Care Important?
The most common reason implants fail is due to periodontal disease caused by improper home care. Because your All-On-4 appliance is permanently fixed onto your implants, food and bacteria can collect under your appliance and around your implants.
If food debris and plaque bacteria are allowed to accumulate, your denture will become uncomfortable and the gum tissue will become red and inflamed. This inflammation can lead to the failure of your All-On-4 system or any other dental implants. Keeping your mouth clean will take a few more steps than having natural teeth.
Here is a list of necessary items to help you maintain your All-On-4 dental implant system and a guideline on how and when to use each one.
Super Floss or “Tufted” Floss
Dr. Huynh, DMD of Eastport Dental recommends removing food debris and plaque with super floss after each meal or at least once a day.
Super floss is packaged in pre-cut strands of floss. Each strand has three sections to make flossing under your implants or bridgework much easier and more effective. The end of your super floss is thin and stiff. This will allow the floss to slide easily under your fixed All-on-4 or bridge appliance. The middle section of super floss is thicker and spongelike, which will remove plaque and debris more effectively in the space between your appliance and your gum tissue. The last section of super floss is most similar to regular floss to access any areas that are a little tighter.
Another great way to effectively remove debris and plaque around implants and under your fixed appliance is the water flosser.
Water flossers are a great option for patients that have difficulty flossing by hand. The water flosser works by spraying a stream of water in steady pulses that irrigates around implants and under your fixed appliance. Water flossing is recommended at least once every day but can be done after every meal. Non-alcoholic antibacterial mouth rinse can also be used with your water flosser when diluted. 1/4 part mouth rinse combined with 3/4 part water is very effective in cleaning and lowering the bacterial count around your All-On-4 dental implant system.
In addition to flossing with super floss and a water flosser, Dr. Huynh, DMD recommends using an electric toothbrush. Studies have shown that brushing with an electric toothbrush is much more effective than a manual version.
There are several options when it comes to electric toothbrushes. Oscillating brush heads and bristles that move in ultrasonic vibrations are most often recommended. Our Mesa implant dentist can help you choose which version is right for your needs.
When cleaning around your implants and fixed appliances, you want to be as thorough as possible but also protect them from scratches and wear. Super floss and electric toothbrush bristles are all soft but oftentimes, your toothpaste can be too abrasive. Microscopic scratches on ceramics or the acrylic teeth of the appliance can harbor harmful bacteria and stains.
Proxy Brush or “Interproximal” Brush
A proxy brush is a very small cone-shaped brush on the end of a toothbrush handle. When used after your electric toothbrush, remaining debris and plaque can be carefully removed. Dip your proxy brush in non-alcoholic mouth rinse before and after use to limit bacteria from being reintroduced into the mouth.
Use a non-alcoholic antibacterial mouth rinse two times a day following flossing and brushing. Choosing the right mouth rinse is very important to maintain optimum oral health. Rinses that contain alcohol can cause increased dry mouth symptoms, which could lead to an increased risk of tooth decay or damage to your acrylic All-on-4 prosthesis.
Plan For Routine Preventative Care Appointments
Even if you do a wonderful job cleaning your All-On-4 dental implant system at home, seeing our Mesa dentist and hygienist periodically for cleanings and exams is important to your dental and overall health. The trained team of Eastport Dental will provide necessary X-rays, inspect and measure gum tissues, and carefully clean areas that you cannot access at home. In some cases, Dr. Huynh, DMD may need to remove your fixed appliance for further cleaning and adjusting.
All-on-4 Implants in Mesa, AZ
With the combination of these home dental tools and frequent preventative care visits, you can easily maintain your All-On-4 Dental Implant System and ensure that it will last a lifetime. Contact your Eastport Dental office of Mesa, AZ today to schedule your next visit to keep your smile healthy!