You were taking a walk with a friend along the Assonet River when you discovered some troubling news. Your friend’s husband recently lost a few of his teeth, including a dental implant that he’d gotten several years prior. You recently received your first dental implant and were informed that dental implants are meant to be permanent solutions to missing teeth. So why is it that your friend’s husband lost his tooth? There are a variety of detrimental habits that might put your dental implant at risk. If you avoid or kick all 3 of the habits below, you can protect the integrity of your dental implants.
1—Biting Your Nails
There are many nervous ticks that people develop to cope with anxiety. However, chewing on your fingernails during an anxious moment could be detrimental to your health. Not only will your nails’ length and appearance suffer, but you could be exposing your mouth to high levels of bacteria. Because your hands touch so many different surfaces, placing your nails in your mouth could cause a bacterial infection that might be detrimental to your dental implant. Additionally, chewing on your nails might lead to cracks or chips in your teeth which could also promote tooth loss if prolonged and untreated.
2—Consuming High Levels of Sugar
For many people, sugar can provide comfort and a mood boost. With how easy it is to pick up donuts at a drive-thru or reach into a candy bowl, too much sugar consumption can sneak up on you. Most dentists tell their patients to reduce their sugar intake to limit the number of cavities they may develop. However, limiting sugar can also reduce your chances of developing gum disease. Because gum disease can lead to jaw bone vulnerability, sugar could also compromise your dental implant. Curbing your sugar intake and making sure to brush and floss your teeth regularly can help mitigate these effects.
3—Using Your Teeth as Tools
From opening plastic packages to cracking nuts, it’s tempting to use your teeth as tools. While your teeth are conveniently located within your mouth at all times, getting up to grab a pair of scissors or a bottle opener can make a big difference in preserving your dental health. Using your teeth to open a bottle or fix a piece of jewelry could damage or weaken your smile. Continued and unnatural force on a dental implant might loosen it.
Preserving the integrity of your dental implants doesn’t have to be a complex process. It’s mostly important to pay attention to what you’re putting into your mouth. If it’s anything aside from healthy foods or dental hygiene tools, you may want to rethink it.
About the Author
Dr. Derek Cornetta is an Assonet, MA dentist committed to fostering long-lasting connections with his patients and providing high-quality dental care. As a graduate of the University of Maryland, Dr. Cornetta is now working toward an esteemed Fellowship position at the Academy of General Dentistry. If you have questions or concerns about maintaining your dental implants, feel free to contact Dr. Cornetta through his website or by calling (508) 644-5200.