Some people get dental implants due to issues that caused them to lose some of their teeth. Dental implant surgery is the process of replacing your lost or damaged teeth with artificial ones that look and function like real teeth. The dentist will use screw-like metal posts to keep the artificial teeth in place. However, deciding to undergo dental implant surgery can be exciting but nerve-wracking for most people.
It’s exciting because you can enjoy your beautiful smile again and eat your favorite food. At the same time, the whole surgery can also be nerve-wracking as the idea of the procedure may sound discomforting, and some might also worry that it would sting. Thankfully, dental implant surgeries are always done with anesthesia to ensure the patients won’t feel anything. And even if the anesthesia wears off post-surgery, the pain or discomfort is bearable.
But the thing is, your dental implant surgery can only be successful and effective once the implants will merge with the surrounding bones, also known as osseointegration. The osseointegration often happens for 3-6 months. Thankfully, you can have a faster recovery with a few tips and tricks. To learn more here, take note of these six tips for healing your dental implants faster and easier.
- Take A Complete Rest
One of the tried-and-true ways to help your body recover from dental implant surgery is to take a complete rest. Pushing yourself to do your usual routine (e.g., workout, chores, job) will only wear your body out and eventually slow down the healing process. So, give your body a chance to do less and focus on resting for a few days. Even if you start feeling better after the surgery, make sure to avoid doing strenuous activities which would require much physical strength, and especially activities that would put you at risk of being hit in the face. Otherwise, you might be prone to experience post-operative complications.
- Eat Soft And Healthy Foods
Just because you now have a complete set of teeth doesn’t mean you can automatically bite hard food again. Your dental implants are still undergoing osseointegration which means they’re not as strong yet as your natural teeth. Thus, help your dental implants heal by eating soft food, especially within 48 hours after the surgery. Eating soft food will make you chew less and eventually reduce your jaw movement, which could irritate your new implants. Furthermore, it’s also essential to avoid eating spicy and hot-served food as they’ll only cause irritation and bleeding in the affected area.
Besides eating soft food, make sure you also focus on eating healthy foods. Eating healthy meals will provide more nutrients to your body for faster healing. Some soft and nutritious food you can eat may include fruit smoothies, fruit or veggie shakes, and steamed broccoli. However, avoid using a straw when drinking shakes or smoothies as it could disturb the area.
- Drink Plenty Of Water
As always, proper body hydration is necessary after your dental implant surgery. When you’re constantly hydrated, it’ll be easier for your body to eliminate body toxins that could slow down your healing process. Drinking an ample amount of water will also keep you energized throughout the recovery period.
Besides drinking lots of water, you must also avoid drinking alcohol and caffeinated drinks as these will only dry out your mouth, hindering your mouth’s ability to heal itself. The safest time to drink alcohol and caffeine again is around two to three weeks post-surgery.
- Use Ice Packs
Sometimes, you may experience swelling after the surgery, which is perfectly normal. To relieve the pain and swelling, you can use ice packs and apply them to the inflamed area. Make sure only to use ice for 15-20 minutes and give your skin a rest for 20 minutes before reapplying the ice packs.
- Rinse Your Mouth With Salt Water
Another way to promote healing for your dental implants is by rinsing your mouth with saltwater. The saltwater helps reduce the number of bacteria thriving inside your mouth that could slow down and irritate the affected area.
To make your saltwater rinse, take one teaspoon of salt and mix it with eight ounces of warm water. Wait for the salt to dissolve before you start rinsing your mouth. Do this within 30 seconds and spit it once done. You can rinse your mouth with salt water three to four times a day, depending on your dentist’s advice.
- Avoid Smoking
Smoking is harmful to your overall health, especially to your dental health. But if you’re an active smoker, remember to never smoke for at least 48 to 72 hours since your dental implant surgery. Smoking right away can adversely affect the healing process, plus it could also lead to post-operative complications. The safest time to smoke again is five to six weeks since your oral surgery.
Recovering from dental implant surgery isn’t as complicated as some people think. As long as you follow the dentist’s instructions combined with the tips mentioned above, you’re on the right path towards a faster recovery, and eventually, be able to show off your beautiful smile again.