How to look after a dental implant, bridge or dentures at home

Article by Bupa Dental

If you have a problem with a dental implant, bridge or denture, contact us to find out whether you need to make an appointment or if you may be able to treat your symptoms at home.

Caring for dental implants

Dental implants are fairly low maintenance, but they still need to be cleaned and maintained with good dental hygiene, just like your natural teeth. Regular cleaning, good oral hygiene, and home dental care are important to lower the risk of infections and help a dental implant last longer.

Peri-implant disease is an infection that can occur if plaque builds up around dental implants. Similar to gum disease around teeth, the peri-implant disease can eventually cause bone loss in the jaw and damage the surrounding teeth if it's left untreated.

Dental implant infections can usually be prevented with regular cleaning. Dentists recommend:

  • Brushing your teeth and your dental implant at least twice a day, using a fluoride toothpaste and a soft toothbrush in a gentle circular motion to avoid damaging the implant

  • Flossing between the implant and the surrounding teeth using unwaxed floss tape or an interdental brush coated with nylon

  • Cutting down on sugar that feeds bacteria and can increase plaque build-up around teeth and implants

If you have multiple implants, all of your teeth have been replaced with full-arch implants, or you have any other questions, talk to your dentist for more information about caring for your implants at home.

Common dental implant problems

Problems with dental implants may be temporary or may cause infection and other serious health issues if they're not treated. Contact your dentist for advice if you have any of the following symptoms of common dental implant problems:

  • Red or sore gum around the implant

  • Swelling around the implant that may spread to other areas

  • Difficulty chewing with the implant

  • The crown or the implant itself feeling loose

Tell your dentist about the symptoms you're experiencing so they can offer guidance about home care over the phone or recommend that you book an appointment if needed.

Red or painful gums may be treated at home by improving your oral hygiene, changing to a softer toothbrush or using an antiseptic mouthwash to care for your teeth and gums.

Other symptoms are likely to need professional attention and could get worse if you delay seeing a dentist.

Caring for a dental bridge

Dental bridges are generally easy to maintain just by following your normal oral hygiene routine.

To help prevent problems with your dental bridge, you should:

  • Avoid very hard or sticky foods that could damage your bridge or cause it to come loose

  • Not bite or chew non-food objects, such as pencils, ice cubes or fingernail

  • Brush and floss your bridge twice a day at the same time as the rest of your teeth

Common dental bridge problems

Problems that can affect a dental bridge include:

  • The artificial teeth chipping or cracking, which could cause injuries in your mouth or make it harder to eat

  • The bridge feeling loose or coming out

  • Toothache or sensitivity around the bridge that may be caused by an infection or inflammation

Contact your dentist if you're worried about your dental bridge or your oral health. They can advise you about whether you need to book an appointment or if you can treat the symptoms at home.

Caring for your dentures

Dentures need daily care just like natural teeth to help prevent bad breath and oral health problems such as gum disease. We recommend that you:

  • Clean your dentures at least once a day using a toothbrush, liquid soap and warm water

  • Brush your gums and any remaining teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste

  • Use a special denture cleaning solution at least once a week for a deeper clean

  • Take out your dentures before you go to sleep unless your dentist has advised you to keep wearing them.

  • Store your dentures away from direct sunlight and heat sources

Common denture problems

Contact your dentist for advice if your dentures:

  • are damaged

  • feel loose in your mouth

  • feel painful or uncomfortable

  • are causing ulcers

It's normal for new dentures to feel uncomfortable first, but this should fade as you get used to how they feel. Improving your oral hygiene could help to reduce inflammation that could be causing some pain and sensitivity.

If your dentures become damaged, you shouldn't try to fix them yourself. Do not hesitate to give us a call.

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