Congratulations on getting your dental implants. Now you can once again (maybe for the first time?) be proud of your radiant smile. Since dental implants are the next best thing to natural teeth, you should treat them hygienically in the same way you would your natural teeth. That means flossing daily in addition to rigorous brushing a couple of times during the day. But you may want to reconsider the manner in which you floss or flossing in general.
But be sure not to skimp on quality when purchasing dental floss. Inferior, weak floss has the potential to shred and get stuck between the gingiva and the implant. Floss particles that have been left behind due to shredding have been linked to cases of peri-implantitis, which could lead to loss of dentition or other complications. In addition, you should floss in a manner that we at Forest & Ray prescribe.
Why? Natural teeth attach to the bone by periodontal ligaments which surround the tooth and act as a protective barrier against invading bacteria. Dental implants, though natural looking, lack a self-limiting process that exists in the tissues around natural teeth. Instead of being attached to the implant, the surrounding tissue creates a protective seal that can be easily broken with aggressive flossing. Ask us about a proper flossing technique with dental implants. But there are alternatives to flossing that you should seriously consider.
Alternative to Flossing: Interdental Brushes
There is a solution to the potential damage that incorrect flossing can bring about. Interdental brushes are an effective tool for preventing dental problems and an effective alternative to string flossing. Choose a brush size (typically 0.4mm to 1.5mm) that fits between your teeth comfortably without using much force. You may find you need a couple of different sizes but the best way to find out is to ask our Forest & Ray dentist or hygienists the next time you have an appointment.
Hold the interdental brush between your thumb and forefinger.
Gently place the brush through the gap between your teeth – don’t force the brush through the gap.
Brush in and out of each space between your teeth.
Other benefits of interdental brushes are they are easier to use than string floss and do a better job of cleaning between the teeth. And floss may do okay on the front teeth but what about the harder to get at other teeth? Interdental brushes work better on them. Last but not least, as we age we lose manual dexterity which can make flossing a drag as it is difficult to grasp the fine thread. Most interdental brushes come with a handle for easier use.
You must take care of your dental implants as you would if they were your natural teeth. The choice of flossing or interdental brushing is up to you. Whatever motivates you to take better care of your dental implants will ultimately be the right choice. Hygiene tip: Regardless of which you choose, dental experts recommend that you brush with your regular toothbrush first before using floss or interdental brushes as brushing first will loosen any stubborn food particles. If in doubt, ask the dental experts at Forest & Ray Budapest Dental Clinic.