Caring for your dental implant after surgery can make a huge difference in how quickly you heal. In many cases, improper care can not only slow the healing process, but also result in the loss of the implant. Here are a few tips to help you recover quickly and avoid infection:
Get Some Rest
From dental implants to even recovering from a minor cold, one of the most important things to remember is that your body needs rest. Healing takes a lot of energy. Kicking back or getting plenty of sleep will allow your body to spend most of its energy on healing.
Lighting up a cigarette and taking a drag during healing poses many problems for your recovery. Smoking introduces bacteria to your mouth that can cause infection in your healing tissue, resulting in complications and the loss of the implant. The chemicals in cigarettes will also irritate your healing tissue, causing swelling that slows your healing and increases the chance of infection. In addition to increasing your chances of infection, smoking slows healing by depriving your bloodstream (and the healing tissue) of vital oxygen.
Limit Strenuous Activity
Although it doesn’t seem like physical activity could impact your new implant, you should avoid strenuous activity as much as possible. Some activities can increase bleeding around the implant and cause inflammation of the surrounding gums.
Finish Your Prescribed Medication
In any situation where a doctor prescribes antibiotics, you should always take the full amount in your prescription. When you stop taking antibiotics early, you risk infection from bacteria that survived the first few doses. Not finishing all of your prescription can also produce antibiotic-resistant bacteria that have learned to adapt to the medicine that damaged but did not kill them.
Nutritious Soft Foods
For the first few days after your surgery, you should avoid chewing as much as possible. Chomping on chewy foods can damage your healing tissue and cause irritation that prologues healing and increases your risk of infection. Focus on eating soft foods that give your body vital nutrients necessary for healing. Foods high in protein and vitamin C can speed up healing. Consider consuming foods like protein drinks, liver, eggs, and bananas. You should also increase your water intake to help your body stay hydrated and promote blood flow.
Talk to Your Dentist About Complications
Dental implants are an effective way to restore your smile and prevent your teeth from shifting over to fill empty spaces. As with any surgery, success depends largely on how you take care of yourself during healing. You should report signs of infection to your dentist, such as excessive bleeding or swelling at the site after healing has begun. Infections can cause serious complications, including tooth pain, receding gums, bone destruction, and the loss of your implant. With proper care, your implant should heal quickly, leaving you free to enjoy the benefits of your new tooth.