Like any other surgical procedure, dental implants can result in mild pain and discomfort after the anesthesia from the procedure wears off. Patients may need time to recover from the incisions their dentists will make to insert the dental implant. The recovery and healing process can be helped or hindered by the habits and practices patients adopt directly after their dental implant procedure. If you’re planning to get dental implants or if you’re currently recovering from dental implant surgery, here are some helpful practices that will help you heal quickly.
Rinse your mouth with a saltwater solution
Gently rinsing your mouth with salt water helps kill bacteria, preventing infections. You may not want to brush your teeth right after your surgery, as it may irritate your gums while they are recovering. Rinsing with a saltwater solution helps keep your mouth clean, even if you don’t brush your teeth on the first post-surgery day.
Change your diet during your recovery
There are certain foods you may enjoy that you should avoid if you’ve just had surgery. Foods with hard and chewy textures, as well as dishes served at hot temperatures can interfere with your mouth’s healing process. You should also avoid drinking through a straw. Instead, focus on eating softer foods that are easy to consume and digest.
Avoid alcohol and tobacco
Consumption of alcohol and tobacco can also interfere with the healing process because of their chemical composition. Alcohol is a strong liquid that can interfere with the medications and antibiotics your doctors may prescribe post-surgery. Alcohol and tobacco are both strong substances that can cause infection. Inhaling substances such as tobacco or cannabis may even lead to implant failure in the worst cases.
Use an ice pack or cold compress
After surgery, patients will commonly experience swelling in their mouth or gums. Applying an ice pack or cold compress to your face helps reduce swelling and can help alleviate post-surgery pain. Be sure to apply your cold pack to both sides of your face so that the swelling subsides evenly.
Your dentist will help guide you through the post-surgery healing process, so be sure to ask them for recommendations and a full list of practices to avoid. Be sure to ask your dentist or doctor for the right pain medications so that you are properly equipped for a comfortable and productive recovery period.