How to Clean All-on-4 Dental Implants: Efficient Techniques for Optimal Hygiene

how to clean all-on-4 dental implants

Receiving a full-mouth dental restoration comes with a sense of excitement and relief, but it also brings a newfound concern for maintaining hygiene. Are you, too, concerned about how to clean all-on-4 dental implants? If yes, you’re already being responsible and proactive about your oral hygiene!

Whether you’re a recent all-on-4 dental implant recipient or planning on getting full-mouth dental implants, knowing how to keep them clean will help you enjoy their benefits for an extended time. In other words, maintaining good oral hygiene will significantly improve the longevity of your implants and the restorations associated with them. This is the undefeated rule of nature: the more you care for something, the longer it will last!

This blog will tell you ways to properly clean all-on-4 dental implants.

What Are All-on-4 Implants?

All-on-4 Implants are an effective means of replacing a full arch of missing teeth. This treatment involves the insertion of 4 dental implants into the jawbone (upper or lower jawbone, depending on which side you’re treating) with careful planning and precision. These implants act as natural tooth roots and provide a firm foundation for the attachment of prosthetic teeth (a permanent, fixed implant denture), which are securely fitted to the implants by means of abutments. These prosthetic teeth will give you the same functional and aesthetic benefits as your natural teeth, allowing you to chew, drink, eat, and smile with confidence!

Do All-on-4 Implants Need Extra Care?

Let’s be realistic. You have a total of 8 metal screws embedded in your jaws and a set of artificial teeth attached to these screws. Would you need the same amount of dental care with all these ‘extra’ items in your mouth as you would with your natural teeth alone? The answer is no. You will have to put in some extra time and effort to care for your new set of permanent teeth, which you should gladly do, as you wouldn’t want to see your precious investment in restoring your smile going down the drain because of your negligence.

But what do we exactly mean by extra care? Well, we mean that brushing your teeth alone would not suffice if you have all-on-4 implants. You would have to have a proper oral care regime to keep your implants and restoration healthy. Studies show that only brushing correlates with the development of peri-implantitis (infection of implants) in patients, which could be a serious cause of concern for them.

Effective Ways To Clean Your All-on-4 Dental Implants

If you are committed to keeping your new smile intact, then you should educate yourself on the techniques to clean your implants. Following are 5 effective techniques to achieve optimal oral hygiene, which will keep your implants clean and healthy and lets you reap the benefits of your investment:

Thoroughly Brush Your Teeth Daily

Let’s start with the basics: brushing. While it’s true that brushing ‘alone’ will not be enough to keep your implants clean, brushing your teeth twice daily (and thoroughly) becomes all the more important when you have implants. 

Thorough brushing is the key here, and it includes both the technique and the timing of brushing. According to The American Dental Association, proper brushing technique involves holding your toothbrush at a 45° angle to your gums and cleaning all the surfaces of your teeth in a back-and-forth motion and circular motion, alternatively. This should be done for at least 2 minutes to ensure that your teeth (restoration) are properly cleaned.

Use A Gentle Toothbrush 

The type of toothbrush you use also impacts your oral hygiene. In the case of an all-on-4 implant, you need to be careful with your toothbrush selection. While your new teeth are made of durable material and would generally withstand the forces of a regular toothbrush, you should be on the safe side and choose a toothbrush with soft and gentle bristles, as you wouldn’t want to damage your new teeth. 

You can opt for a manual or an electric toothbrush based on your personal preferences and comfort level. Just make sure that it gives a thorough yet gentle cleaning to your gums and prosthesis.

Keep Your Tongue And Cheeks Clean

Brushing your new teeth thoroughly with a gentle toothbrush is important, but you’d not achieve ‘optimal’ hygiene by brushing your teeth only. You need to keep your tongue and cheeks clean, too, for they are common sites for bacteria and food accumulation and can transfer them to your implants by being in constant contact with them. This may result in gum irritation and inflammation, contributing to implant loosening and (in extreme cases) failed dental implants. Hence the need for tongue and cheek cleaning.

You can use your toothbrush bristles to clean and gently scrape food particles and plaque off of your tongue, and to gently clean the inner surfaces of your cheeks.

Floss Religiously After Each Meal

Congratulations on reclaiming your joy of eating; we know you’re eating like anything after getting your new set of teeth! But If you’re genuinely concerned about how to clean all-on-4 dental implants, then you can’t miss out on flossing right after your meal. 

Buy a good quality floss (along with a floss threader) to clean around and beneath your implants. For this, you first need to carefully reach the implant posts resting between your natural gums and restoration base. Just push the stiff (flat) edge of the threader through the space between your gums and restoration base until it reaches the tongue side. Then, pull the flat edge of the threader farther away from the floss until the floss reaches the posts. Carefully floss around the sides of the implant posts, repeating the process for each implant. Similarly, floss around the restoration by gently sliding the floss across it to keep the restoration plaque-free.

Use An Oral Irrigator 

An oral irrigator, commonly known as a water flosser, is a must-have device for all-on-4 implant recipients. It helps remove stuck food particles beneath and around the restoration and implants by means of water jets. This type of flossing is more comfortable and convenient for elderly patients with sensitive gums and provides them with a pain-free way of removing plaque and debris from their all-on-4 implants.

Select the appropriate attachments (tips), water pressure levels, and operating mode for your flosser to thoroughly clean underneath the restoration and the areas around it. 

Additional Tips On How To Clean All-On-4 Dental Implants

You can also incorporate other small habits (with big impact!) into your dental hygiene regime to make it more optimal, such as:

  • Using an antibacterial mouthwash after every meal to keep your oral cavity free of germs.
  • Visiting your dentist every 6 months to get professional oral health assessments and cleanings done.
  • Patients who suffer from teeth grinding should wear a night guard to prevent their implants and gums from getting damaged.

Conclusion 

You can increase the longevity of your implants and their associated restorations by following a proper oral care routine. This includes brushing twice daily, flossing after every meal, using a water flosser, etc.

Besides personal care efforts, having an expert dentist by your side who guides you on all the important aspects of all-on-4 implant hygiene can be a blessing! Columbus Implant Clinic’s team of expert dentists will give you the best quality implant experience, from placement to aftercare tips, all in one place! Visit us physically (we’re located in Columbus, Ohio) or book a FREE online consultation with us today!


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