Helping Your Mouth Heal After Implant Surgery

Dental implant surgery can be a big deal. In a positive light, this surgery allows you to replace your missing tooth and enjoy a replacement tooth that looks and feels very real. On the more challenging side, this is a surgical procedure, and you can expect some pain and discomfort while your mouth heals afterward. The good news is that if you care for your mouth and body well, you should heal faster and with fewer side effects. Here are some key ways to do that.

Avoid Straws

Sucking a milkshake or smoothie through a straw may seem like a convenient way to "eat" after implant surgery, but this can actually do more harm than good. The suction created in your mouth when you drink through a straw can disrupt the scabs forming at your surgical site and may even cause damage to your stitches. So, play it safe and sip your drinks from a cup or glass while you're healing.

Brush Your Teeth

Opening your mouth to brush your teeth may be a bit uncomfortable and awkward, but it is really important not to stop brushing when you're recovering from implant surgery. Brushing keeps your mouth clean and keeps your levels of oral bacteria low. This reduces your risk of infection post-surgery, which will help you heal faster.

Use Salt Water Rinses

Your dentist will likely tell you to rinse your mouth with salt water to ease pain after implant surgery. But this does more than ease pain, so you really should do it even if your mouth is not that uncomfortable. Salt water helps kill oral bacteria and prevent infection at the surgical site. It can also help take inflammation out of the tissues, so they can heal faster.

Don't Go Back to Solid Food Too Quickly

Your dentist will likely tell you to stick to liquids and soft foods for a few days, and then slowly switch to solid foods as you feel comfortable doing so. It is really important not to rush this transition. If you eat chewy or crunchy foods too soon, you may damage the surgical site and slow the healing process.

If you follow the tips above, you can help your body heal from implant surgery more effectively. If you notice anything amiss or are not healing as fast as expected, get in touch with your dentist. They'll examine the surgical site and make sure everything is okay. 

For more information about dental implants, contact a local dentist.