A prosthetic (false) tooth attached to a dental implant will be made of ceramic. Clearly, ceramic has a different structure to natural teeth—although the fact that it mimics the look and composition of natural dental enamel is the reason why it's the favored material for dental crowns. Ceramic crowns can't be affected by tooth decay, although you still need to brush them. But what about flossing?
You might be a little reluctant to floss around your dental crown. Dental implants require healthy bone mass for successful placement, but your gums are just as important. Gums must be healthy, and for the implant to actually look natural, your gums must regrow around the base of the dental crown. You might be concerned that flossing will irritate your gums, possibly even causing them to recede, and so might jeopardize the natural look of your implant.
Flossing has become the catch-all term for cleaning between your teeth, but this isn't totally accurate. The correct term is interdental cleaning, and using a string of dental floss is just one of the types of cleaning that's available. It's understandable that you might wish to leave your gums alone as much as possible, and it's true that achieving precision with a piece of dental floss can be difficult. However, your implant itself is anchored in your jaw bone, and the dental crown is bonded to the implant, so flossing won't affect the implant or its crown.
If you have any concerns about using floss, you must explore a few other options. Interdental brushes may be the most convenient choice. These are tiny brushes (often with a single tuft) or may feature a small sponge-like material—meaning they're not always technically a brush. Its use is simple— just grasp the small grip between your thumb and forefinger and move it up and down in the spaces between your teeth.
Water and Air Flossing
If you suspect that you'll find using an interdental brush too much effort each time you clean your teeth, you might want to invest in a water or air flosser. This is a home version of the tools your dentist might use, and a small nozzle directs a jet of water or air between your teeth to get rid of any food debris that your toothbrush may have missed. Although these flossers are powerful, they won't irritate your gums or cause them to potentially recede and expose your dental implant.
Although the crown attached to your implant can't decay, you'll want to prevent oral bacteria from accumulating on it, as this can cause decay in other teeth, as well as a potential gum infection that could destabilize your implant. So whatever type of interdental cleaning you choose, you'll certainly need to utilize one to clean around your implant's dental crown.
For more information about keeping dental implants clean, contact a local dental office.