Wisdom Teeth: Removal, Maintenance and Cavity Prevention

Can Flossing Be Difficult After a Dental Implant?

It could be argued that your oral hygiene takes on greater relevance after receiving dental implants. Whether a tooth was lost due to periodontal disease or an accident that knocked it out, the dental implant is a decisive way to seamlessly replace your lost tooth. Still, an entirely new tooth that has been implanted into your jaw with a metal bolt topped with a specially fabricated prosthesis represents a serious financial investment and can strengthen your resolve to keep your new complete smile in the best possible state. When it comes to flossing your teeth, does a dental implant change the process at all?

Traditional Flossing with a Dental Implant

Flossing might have been somewhat easier before the dental implant was fitted, particularly if the tooth was missing. The gap created more access, meaning that the neighbouring teeth could be flossed with ease. It can simply be a case of getting used to having the addition of the dental implant and flossing as per usual. A natural tooth is connected to your alveolar bone via a periodontal ligament, which is absent in a dental implant. Excessive or improper flossing can irritate this ligament, occasionally resulting in discomfort and bleeding. While there is no ligament to aggravate with a dental implant, you can still conceivably irritate your gums around the implant, since the reaction in the nerves in the ligament would ordinarily tell you when you're flossing too hard.

Alternatives to Traditional Flossing

If you do in fact find traditional flossing to be problematic after the implant, you have a couple of effective alternatives.

An oral irrigator might sound daunting, but you can think of it as water-based flossing. It directs a stream of concentrated water through the gaps in your teeth, dislodging any food debris without irritating your gums.

An interdental brush has a smaller head than a regular toothbrush, allowing it to be inserted between teeth. You have greater control with the brush than you would with traditional floss, although interdental brushes are available in a variety of sizes so there might be some trial and error involved before determining the best size for your teeth. Ask your dentist if you're unsure.

Your dental hygiene routine can and still should include flossing after your dental implant has been finalised. But the new addition to your smile might require a new approach when it comes to the best way to floss.