Have you decided to take the big step of getting dental implants to replace your missing teeth? After the procedure, your dentist is going to give you some advice as to how to care for yourself during recovery. Here are a few things you are likely to hear.
Take Your Medications as Directed
Your doctor will likely prescribe you some medications to take after the procedure, including antibiotic medication to keep infections away. Make sure you take these medications in full as directed, even if you are feeling better. You'll also be given a strong narcotic pain reliever if you need it. Try to stick with using ibuprofen and Tylenol unless directed otherwise, and avoid using those two drugs in combination with your narcotic pain medication. Chances are that the narcotic already has Tylenol in it, and check with your doctor to be sure.
Know Your Oral Care Routine
You'll be given special instructions on how to care for yourself within the first few days of the surgery. You'll not be allowed to rinse out your mouth for 24 hours since it can cause the bone graft or flap to become dislodged. After that, you can rinse lightly by letting the liquid fall out of your mouth instead of spitting it out with a forceful motion.
It's a good idea to switch to a soft bristle toothbrush when brushing, but avoid brushing the area where the dental implant was placed. This can cause problems to the bone graft and flap as well, so just stay away from the area. Avoid using a water flosser entirely, since it is too rough for your mouth, for at least a month.
Change Up Your Diet
You'll need to stick to eating cold foods for the first day after the surgery, then switch to warm foods for about two weeks. Then you can start incorporating hot foods into your diet. That means you should stay away from hot coffee or things that have been taken directly off a stovetop or out of an oven. Have a blender? Consider blending foods so that they are soft enough to consume without chewing. Implants fail by accidentally putting too much pressure on them, which causes them to shift unexpectedly. Don't try to push it when it comes to chewing foods earlier than instructed.
Have more questions about caring for your new implants? Be sure to ask your dentist for more information. They'll let you know everything that you should and should not be doing. For more information about dental implants and their post-op care, contact a local dentist.