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How to Floss with Dental Implants

May 21, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — hirshfield @ 7:27 pm

Woman flossing with dental implantsDental implants are an excellent solution to permanently replace your missing teeth because they have over a 95% success rate. The longevity of your new smile relies on your oral hygiene habits at home and routine care from your dentist. While you might believe brushing is enough to safeguard against dental implant failure, there are areas in your mouth your toothbrush can’t reach. If they aren’t cleaned daily, plaque buildup can lead to peri-implantitis, an infection that will cause your smile to fail. Flossing dental implants is the only way to reach the areas missed by your toothbrush. Here’s how to best floss your new teeth to ensure they thrive for decades.

Flossing Your Dental Implants

You already know flossing is crucial to protecting your natural teeth from gum disease, but the daily habit is even more important if you have dental implants. When cleaning between your real teeth, you’re able to push the floss into the gum pocket without causing any damage to the soft tissues. Since your tooth is held securely in place by the periodontal ligament that contains nerves, it will take a lot of force to cause pain.

Unfortunately, your gums will not attach to a dental implant using a periodontal ligament. Instead, a peri-implant seal is created, which is weaker than your periodontal ligament. Since the seal doesn’t contain any nerves, you won’t be alerted by pain if the seal is broken, which can allow bacteria to enter the gum pocket and infect the jawbone. As a result, flossing your dental implants must be done carefully to prevent causing any unnecessary complications.

Tips for Flossing with Dental Implants

Unlike flossing your real teeth, you’ll need to thread the thin string between your dental implants and gums. A floss threader is a small handheld device that features a loop at one end and a stiff flat edge at the other. This allows you to thread about 18 inches of dental floss through the loop to effectively clean your dental implants.

Hold the floss around your fingers in each hand and slide it up and down the sides of your implant. You’ll release the floss from one hand to remove it from your dental implant. You’ll repeat the process for each post.

If traditional floss is too difficult to use, many patients prefer an oral irrigator, also known as a water flosser. The special device emits a pressurized spray of water to loosen food particles and plaque from tight spaces in your mouth, like around the dental implants.

Prevent Dental Implant Failure

You can promote the long-term success of your dental implants by committing to the best oral hygiene habits. Don’t forget to visit your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup.

About Dr. David Hirshfield

Dr. Hirshfield earned his dental degree from Tufts University and has completed postgraduate training in dental implants, cosmetic dentistry, and endodontics. He uses state-of-the-art technology and techniques to help his patients achieve their best smiles. If you’re missing teeth, contact our office today to see if dental implants are right for you.

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