Do you currently have a dental bridge? Perhaps you’re thinking about replacing your missing tooth with one. These custom restorations are resilient, but they are not impervious to decay and gum disease. Therefore, properly caring for and maintaining your bridge is important for long-term oral health. Our team at Silverwood Dental located on Lenore Dr. in Saskatoon can demonstrate how to effectively care for and clean your dental bridge so you can enjoy healthy teeth and gums for many years to come.
What is a dental bridge?
There are a few different types of dental bridges. However, the most common bridges today are traditional and implant-supported. Both of these restorations consist of two dental crowns on either side and an artificial tooth (pontic) in the middle. While conventional bridges are bonded to natural teeth, implant-supported bridges rest atop dental implants, which are titanium posts that are surgically embedded into the jaw. Both of these bridges require a proper oral hygiene regimen to prevent dental damage and oral bacteria.
How to brush a dental bridge
Bacteria thrive in the plaque deposits and biofilm that accumulate on the teeth. Brushing helps to remove these irritants for a healthy smile. Brushing a bridge is similar to cleaning your natural teeth. In addition to brushing the front, back, sides, and tops of your teeth, we recommend angling the toothbrush into the gum line at a 45-degree angle. This will help sweep out any bacteria or debris hiding between the gums and teeth. This routine should be implemented as soon as possible after receiving a new dental bridge, so you can protect your investment.
How to floss a dental bridge
Flossing a dental bridge is a bit different than flossing natural teeth. When you are flossing your natural teeth, the floss simply fits in the spaces between. Because a dental bridge is crafted from a single block of ceramic porcelain or zirconia, the floss will not fit between the dental crowns and the pontic. Therefore, you will need to learn how to clean underneath the restoration for effective care. Many patients use floss threaders to achieve this goal. This simple nylon tool loosely resembles a needle and thread. Simply place the floss through the loop in the threader, then gently insert it into the area between the pontic and the gum tissue. This allows you to clean underneath the dental bridge. Some patients prefer dental picks or interproximal brushes instead of floss threaders. These easily fit underneath the restoration to clean out any food deposits and bacteria. Many individuals find that a Waterpik® or water flosser helps remove larger pieces of debris, especially if there are areas where food tends to become impacted. However, it should be pointed out that a water flosser should only be used as a supplement, and never in place of brushing and manual flossing.
Attending routine dental visits
If you have a dental bridge, or any other restoration, one of the most important things you can do is attend routine teeth cleanings and examinations. During these visits, your hygienist can remove irritants and bacteria that cause decay and gum disease. Your dentist can also check your restoration to make sure it is remaining strong and stable for a healthy smile.
Learn more about caring for dental bridges
Each patient is unique. When it comes to caring for dental bridges, what works well for one patient may not work for another. Our team at Silverwood Dental clinic in Saskatoon can help you determine an oral hygiene regimen that will work for you and keep your dental bridge looking and feeling great. For more information, contact us online or call our dental office at 306-242-5233.