While traditional tooth replacement options like dentures and dental bridges need to be replaced every few years, dental implants in Round Rock offer a permanent solution to missing teeth! However, how long your dental implants last depends heavily on how well you take care of them. Even though these modern restorations are incredibly durable and reliable, there are a few ways you may accidentally break them or cause them to fail. Make sure to break these six bad habits to keep your newly rebuilt smile happy, healthy, and fully intact for a lifetime!
1.) Not Brushing or Flossing Regularly
Just because your dental implant isn’t vulnerable to cavities doesn’t mean you can slack off on your daily dental routine! You need to brush, floss, and use mouthwash daily to protect your natural teeth and keep the connective tissues that help hold your dental implant in place healthy.
2.) Smoking or Chewing Tobacco
Tobacco products are bad for your entire body, including your smile and dental implant. Smoking or chewing tobacco slows down your healing process and dramatically increases your risk of oral infections and oral cancer. Studies show that smokers are two to three times more likely to lose their dental implant than non-smokers, so now’s an important time to break this bad habit.
3.) Eating Too Much Sugar
Sugary snacks don’t just cause cavities—they boost your chances of developing gum disease as well. This common bacterial infection in the gums is the leading cause of tooth loss in the US, as it can eventually damage the jawbone and destroy the connective tissues that hold your natural teeth and dental implant in place. While there are gum disease treatments available, cutting back on your sugar intake can go a long way in keeping this oral health issue at bay.
4.) Chewing on Your Fingernails or Ice
Do you chew on your fingernails, pen caps, ice, or other hard objects when you’re stressed or bored? This bad habit can quickly lead to chipped or cracked teeth or dental implants! Additionally, these items can introduce more bacteria into your mouth and cause infections that loosen your dental implant. If you need to chew on something, try a piece of sugarless gum instead!
5.) Grinding Your Teeth or Clenching Your Jaw
Bruxism is a condition that causes you to grind your teeth or clench your jaw in your sleep. This nightly extra pressure and abrasion can lead to a host of issues, including damaging or loosening your dental implant. Your Round Rock dentist will be able to help you discover if you have bruxism and design a custom mouthguard for you to keep your smile safe.
6.) Using Your Teeth as Tools
Sometimes, it may seem convenient to use your teeth to open bottles, crack nuts, tear packaging, or as some other helpful tool. However, this sudden harsh pressure takes a toll on the strength of your dental implant and natural teeth and can even damage your jawbone. Always keep the proper tools somewhere easy to reach so you’re not tempted to put your smile at risk.
Once you rebuild your complete set of pearly whites with a dental implant, make sure you protect your investment! If you break these six bad habits and visit your dentist twice a year for checkups, you can easily expect your dental implant to last a lifetime.
About the Author
Dr. Mike Asay of Chisholm Trail Dental Health is proud to provide the families of Round Rock, TX and the surrounding communities the excellent and compassionate dentistry they deserve. He regularly completes continuing education courses in advanced topics like dental implant placement and holds active memberships in numerous organizations such as the American Dental Association and the Texas Academy of Cosmetic Dentists. If you have questions about how to care for dental implants, he can be reached via his website or at (512) 244-2796.