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How (and Why) to Floss Well Around Your Dental Implant

How (and Why) to Floss Well Around Your Dental Implant

Dental implants are a beautiful, durable, popular solution for missing teeth, and year by year, they’re becoming even more popular. That’s partly because dental implants are so easy to care for. But just because they’re not “real” teeth, that doesn’t mean they don’t need any care, including careful brushing and flossing.

Minal Patel, DDS, specializes in dental implant placement, helping patients at Park Place Smiles enjoy the benefits of their new smiles with state-of-the-art care. To maintain the longevity of your implant and your overall oral health, here’s what you should know about flossing:

The importance of regular flossing

While toothbrushes are great for removing food particles, plaque, and bacteria off the easy-to-reach surfaces of your teeth, they’re not so good at cleaning the sides of your teeth and the spaces between them. Plaque buildup between your teeth increases the risk of gum disease, the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the United States.

Plaque contains millions of germs, including the bacteria that cause gum disease. When those bacteria aren’t thoroughly removed, the germs invade the gum tissue, causing an infection that damages your gums and your teeth, as well.

Dental implants aren’t “living” teeth, so of course, they can’t develop cavities. But the gums that surround them can still become infected, putting your gum health and your implant at risk. In fact, untreated gum disease can weaken the bone that supports your implant, eventually causing it to loosen and fall out.

The right way to floss

Most people don’t give a lot of thought to how they floss, but it turns out your technique can have a big impact on how successful you are at locking in all the benefits of flossing. Proper flossing is more than just wedging some special string between your teeth and moving it back and forth. You need to position your floss so it removes as much plaque as possible without irritating tender gum tissue.

Fortunately, the American Dental Association offers a comprehensive guide to flossing, including a helpful video. In a nutshell, here’s what to do.

The right way to floss

First, snip off about 18 inches of floss and wrap the ends around a finger on each hand. Pinching the ends of the floss between those fingers and your thumbs, gently insert the floss between two teeth, being careful not to cram or “snap” the floss in place.

Now, curve the floss around the surface of one of the teeth and gently move the floss up and down to remove plaque stuck to the tooth surface. Repeat with the side of the other tooth. Advance to a clean section of floss as needed, and be sure to reach all of your teeth, even the ones at the very back.

If regular floss is too difficult, consider using a flosser tool that includes an easy-to-grip handle or a water flosser. The type of flossing tool you use isn’t as important as making sure you floss every day.

Dental implants: A lifetime of beautiful smiles

With proper care, including regular brushing, flossing, and routine dental checkups, dental implants can last a lifetime. To learn more about implants and how they can help you enjoy a healthier, more beautiful smile, call 626-226-1802 or book an appointment online with us at Park Place Smiles in Glendora, California, today.

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