Good oral hygiene is critical in caring for your implant. It takes special effort to maximize plaque bacteria removal every day. This means that, along with regular dental visits, you need to brush properly, floss regularly, and clean the spaces between your teeth (called interdental spaces) with an interdental brush. Using an antibacterial toothpaste will help maximize plaque bacteria reduction by continuing to kill plaque bacteria after brushing.1
You have spent a lot of time and money on your dental implants, so it's important to practice good oral hygiene and implant care to avoid complications that could lead to implant failure. If you lose your implant, there is no guarantee that your dentition can be repaired again.
Inadequate oral hygiene can lead to the loss of implants. If oral hygiene is inadequate, bacteria multiply on the surface of the implant to harmful levels. This will result in inflammation of the gums, which is called mucositis. If left untreated, bone loss around the implant may result, leading to peri-implantitis.
Peri-implantitis (inflammation around the implant with loss of bone) can be compared to periodontitis; the two diseases are caused by similar bacteria. This is why untreated periodontitis can increase the risk of failure of an implant. Like periodontitis, peri-implantitis leads to a breakdown of the jawbone. This causes the implant to lose its anchorage and become loose. Peri-implantitis is actually the most common cause of loss of implants.
Reference: 1. Fine DH, Furgang D, Markowitz K, et al. The antimicrobial effect of a triclosan/copolymer dentrifice on oral microorganisms in vivo. J Am Dent Assoc. 2006;137(1):1406-1413.