Getting dental implant surgery to replace a damaged or missing tooth is a very smart idea. Your new dental implant will look like a healthy, natural tooth, be easy to care for, and last a very long time. But right after the surgery, there are a few things you need to do to ensure your own comfort and to take care of your new dental implant. Here are four post-care tips for your new dental implant:
Choose Food Carefully
For the first week after your dental implant surgery, your mouth will be very sensitive. To avoid harming your implant or causing yourself pain, choose your meals carefully. It's best to opt for soft food that requires no or minimal chewing until you heal. Prepare before your surgery by stocking up on ingredients for smoothies (a great way to get daily veggies and fruit into your diet while you're healing), as well as food like mashed potatoes, pasta, and macaroni and cheese.
Ask your oral surgeon to prescribe you a mouthwash meant especially for those recovering from oral surgery. Beginning the evening of your surgery, you will want to use this mouthwash to help prevent bacteria build-up or infection at the site of your surgery. If you experience pain or swelling, you may also want to rinse your mouth with lukewarm salt water once or twice a day.
Use Ice Packs
Placing an ice pack against your cheek on the side where the implant was placed will reduce swelling and pain after your surgery. You may want to ask your oral surgeon for a special ice pack that straps under your chin, keeping your hands free to do other things while wearing it. If your ice pack is made from plastic instead of cloth, you will want to wrap it in a clean dishcloth to protect your skin from the cold.
Avoid Hot Liquids
While hot soup and herbal tea may be comforting when you're not feeling well, they're a bad idea when recovering from oral surgery. The heat may cause pain and increase inflammation at the site of your dental implant. Chill your tea or coffee in the fridge for a refreshing, pain-free caffeine fix.
By following these tips, you will remain comfortable and pain-free after your dental implant surgery, and your dental implant will be in great shape. If you experience excessive pain or bleeding, call your oral surgeon right away.