Cleaning Around All-on-4 Implants, Dentures, or Bridges
After you have had a significant procedure to improve your oral health and your ability to chew and speak, such as All-on-4 implants, dentures, or bridges, you need to make sure you have a frequent and effective cleaning program so they will last as long as possible and help you avoid periodontal disease.
Individual dental implants should be treated exactly like natural teeth when it comes to cleaning. That means spending two minutes twice a day using a soft brush and fluoride-based toothpaste to brush the front and back of every natural or artificial tooth. Flossing needs to be done after your last snack, moving the string for each area between the teeth (if you have ongoing periodontal or gum infection problems, you will want to also do this after lunch). Also swish around a dentist-grade mouthwash for a minute or two at the end of the day. All this also applies to cleaning other dental work.
But the All-on-4 platform is a set of 12-14 artificial teeth anchored into half of one arch of the jaw, which is less arduous than doing individual implants, less expensive, and more stable. It has the same impact on your dental health as separate implants, preventing the erosion of the jawbone due to missing teeth or wearing a denture.
You want to be very diligent about cleaning thoroughly around all elements of the All-on-4 to avoid missing food particles, allowing bacteria to feed on them and create plaque, the sticky film that causes cavities and periodontal disease. If you have trouble maintaining your oral health, we can remove the platform to do a professional cleaning (and you should always have your dental hygienist do a cleaning of all your teeth, gums, and dental work at least twice a year).
Also watch for wear-and-tear on the artificial teeth–if you begin to see them getting damaged, get checked out for bruxism (grinding your teeth when you sleep), for which we can create a personalized mouthguard to protect them.
Bridges are also a good choice to prevent misalignment of teeth if you are missing any, though not as durable as implants. Using floss threaders, super floss that tufts out into thicker texture, interdental toothbrushes, and Waterpiks are especially helpful in cleaning the small areas around the bridges that are hard for a toothbrush to reach.
Removable dentures should be taken out after every meal and brushed with white distilled vinegar, then rinsed in water. You should brush and floss any remaining teeth and gums before you sleep and put the dentures in a denture cleaning solution overnight.
In all cases, your oral healthcare will have better results if you cut down on sugar of all kinds, especially white sugar and high fructose corn syrup, as well refined grains in all forms, all of which feed periodontal bacteria. Cutting back on sweet drinks, like sodas, coffee, and tea can reduce the chances for cavities and periodontal disease, as well as discoloration.
Be sure to also have a full dental exam twice a year and a digital x-ray when recommended by your dentist to be sure there is no infection of the jawbone. For more information, contact Soothing Dental, dentist in San Francisco and Sunnyvale. We’ll be happy to help.