Dental Implant Home Care: Important Dos And Don’ts

If you're going to have a dental implant procedure done in the near future, then of course you want to do everything you can to minimize your recovery time and avoid post-procedural complications—especially when you consider that the average cost of a single dental implant around $4,000. The last thing you want is to have to spend more money on having the implant redone or dealing with complications at the implant site. Fortunately, by keeping a few at-home care tips in mind, you can recover from your implant procedure in no time.

DO Use an Antibacterial Mouthwash

More than likely, your dentist will prescribe you an antibacterial mouthwash after your dental implant procedure. The purpose of this prescription mouthwash is to prevent a bacterial infection from forming around the healing site, which is a common complication. It's important that you fill this prescription (if it's not readily available at your dentist's office) and begin using it immediately and for the amount of time your dentist recommends. A store-bought mouthwash won't cut it in terms of preventing harmful bacteria from forming around the implant site.

DO Invest in a Water Flosser

While your dentist will likely recommend that you don't floss around your new dental implant until it's mostly healed, it's a good idea to pick up a water flosser after your procedure so you can begin using it as soon as you're healed enough to floss. Specifically, a water flosser is recommended because it's more efficient than regular floss. A water flosser uses a strong stream of water to remove plaque and bacteria, and is great for hard-to-reach areas that you wouldn't otherwise be able to get with regular floss. In fact, studies have found that water flossers are twice as effective as string floss.

DON'T Ignore Abnormal Swelling or Bleeding

Finally, while some minor swelling and bleeding is common in the first days of recovery following a dental implant procedure, it's important to recognize when swelling or bleeding has become a cause for concern and to seek help from your dentist immediately. Specifically, if you're unable to get swelling to reduce by applying a wrapped ice pack to the area or can't get the bleeding to stop with gauze, it's time to see your dentist, as this could be a sign of an infection or other problem with your dental implant that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.