I am proud to say that I have all my own teeth at the age of 65. While that may not sound unusual to some people, everyone in my family who is my age or older wears dentures. I always tell people that that flossing is the key to good dental health. I have arthritis in my hands, but I don't let it keep me from flossing every day. My trick is to use those little "flossers" you can buy at the drug store. They have plastic handles floss stretched out on top of the handle. These make flossing easier on days when my arthritis is acting up. I started this blog to let other people know that they can keep their teeth healthy into old age when they take care of them. If you have hand pain, find ways to make flossing easier, like I did.
If you have a dental implant procedure scheduled in your future, then your dentist will provide you with a great deal of information about the surgery and the aftercare that is required afterwards. The aftercare that you provide to your mouth is necessary to advance the healing process. You will be asked to abstain from alcohol and cigarettes, and you will need to eat soft foods. Your oral surgeon or dentist will also ask you to rinse your mouth. Rinsing will help to remove the bacteria from the implant site that may cause an infection. There are many different kinds of rinses you can use, and a few good options are listed below.
Prescription Mouth Rinse
If your oral surgeon feels that you are at risk of developing a serious infection after your dental implant operation, then he or she may advise you to use a prescription mouthwash. This is necessary if you have a compromised immune system, an autoimmune disorder, or if you have signs of gum disease. Prescription mouthwashes contain a strong antibacterial agent called chlorhexidine. This substance will stop bacteria from gathering around your dental implant site, and it will kill some of the bacteria that are already present in your mouth.
Prescription mouthwashes are generally prescribed for a short period of time, because they can cause the teeth to become discolored. You can prevent the teeth from forming brown spots by avoiding stain causing foods. Stay away from coffee, tea, wine, and any food that contains bright artificial coloring agents.
Using Weaker Rinses
One or two weeks after the initial healing period, your oral surgeon will ask you to discontinue the use of your prescription rinse. Infection risks will be reduced at this time, and you can start using a general mouthwash from your local pharmacy. When you choose a mouthwash, just make sure to find a product that is antiseptic. This will help to reduce the bacteria in the mouth.
Do not buy a rinse with alcohol though. Alcohol can damage the newly formed tissues that have started to grow around the implant site. This can prolong the healing process.
Salt Water Solution
If your oral surgeon feels that you are not at risk of forming a serious infection after your dental implant operation, then you may be asked to use a simple sat water rinse to clean your mouth. The salt in the rinse will kill some of the bacteria in the mouth and it will also create a dehydrated environment that prevents bacteria from multiplying. The salt also forces fluids to seep from the implant site and this reduces swelling.
Salt water rinses can be safely used multiple times a day to clean your mouth, but you should try to use filtered or boiled water when creating the rinse. Tap water may contain some bacteria, and microorganisms that sit on your kitchen tap can make it into your rinse as well. The bacteria can cause an oral infection or an illness elsewhere in the body that can complicate the healing process.
Using Essential Oils
If you want a stronger rinse after your dental implant operation or if you want to soothe your discomfort, then consider adding essential oils to your mixture. You may want to do this after the initial healing period though, because strong essential oils may cause a burning sensation across open wounds. You can use tea tree, clove, peppermint, or lavender oil to reduce pain and kill bacteria.
Choose one or two essential oils to add to your rinse and place five to ten drops of the oil in your salt water rinse. Use the rinse as you normally would.
If you have a dental implant procedure scheduled within the next year, then you should go to websites and know that you need to take great care of your mouth after the operation. Your oral surgeon will likely ask you to use rinses to reduce infection concerns, and you have some options available to you in regard to mouthwashes.