Now that you have successfully undergone dental implant surgery and the swelling has gone down, you are likely wondering how to best maintain your new set of teeth or denture abutments. You know how to brush regular teeth—but how about implants? Keep in mind that plaque can form just as easily on implants or dentures as they can on regular teeth, eventually leading to advanced disease and implant failure. Also remember that, while made of strong materials, abutments and implants can be damaged.
To avoid such issues, correct home care is necessary on top of professional maintenance. For this, you need the right tools. Read on for some toothbrush features that can help you keep your oral health up with the increased demands of implants and abutments. Mix and match for what you need. (For more information on dental implants, contact Jacqueline Subka DDS APC)
Soft filaments. Look for a brush with soft and end-rounded filaments. While implants are made of strong materials, stiff bristles and rough brushing will damage them over time. Contrary to popular belief, a gentle brush cleans just as effectively as one with stiff bristles.
Pointed tufts. Small, rounded tufts of bristles help with precision. You can thoroughly clean around abutments and fixed orthodontic appliances as well as along your gum line. The bristles together will be dense and firm, but individually they are soft, so they will not cause damage to your teeth or implants.
Long, thin neck. Length will provide easier access to hard-to-reach areas. A thin neck will be less cumbersome when brushing; it won't bump your teeth or lips as much, and it allows you to check inside your mouth while you are brushing.
Slim, narrow brush head. If you choose not to use tufts, opt for a slim, narrow brush head. This essentially furthers the effect of the long neck. It allows you to more effectively brush areas like your gum line and around abutments and fixed orthodontic appliances.
Angled neck. With an angled neck, the head will be set further back than the base of the brush when the brush is held vertically. This allows you to reach less accessible areas more easily.
Angled brush. Some toothbrushes come with a slightly angled head and detachable tuft brushes. The brush can be attached to either side of the head; the bristles can be made to point upward or downward. This allows you to clean difficult-to-access areas, such as the back side of the last tooth, on both your top and bottom teeth.
Stable handle. For those who have trouble getting a strong grip, a stable handle that doesn't have much flexibility in the neck may help with precision of brushing.
Bendable handle. Again for those who require a more stable brush, some handles can be bent backwards for improved grip.