Dental bridges are one of the leading treatments for tooth loss. These restorations consist of two dental crowns with artificial teeth – called pontics – in between them. When bonded into place, the dental bridge spans the gap left behind by missing teeth, effectively completing your smile. Today, your Denver dentist at Metropolitan Dental Care offers a few tips and tricks for cleaning around your dental bridge. These recommendations can help you keep your restoration in tip-top shape for years to come.
If you’ve sustained tooth loss, consider what a dental bridge can do for you. Schedule an appointment with your Denver dentist by calling 303-534-2626.
Why Cleaning a Dental Bridge is so Important
Most dental bridges are made from zirconia, porcelain, or other high-quality materials. For this reason, these restorations are impervious to cavities. It’s important to understand, however, that the natural tooth structure underneath is still vulnerable to decay and damage. Furthermore, the surrounding gum tissue can still be affected by periodontal disease if the area is not kept adequately clean. If problems develop around a dental bridge, the restoration must often be removed to address the issues, and a new bridge must be placed. This is why routine oral hygiene is imperative.
Cleaning around the Crowns
The crown portions of the dental bridge rest on natural teeth for support. It’s necessary to brush these teeth thoroughly at least twice a day. We recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a nonabrasive fluoride toothpaste. This protects the bridge from damage and helps to strengthen natural tooth enamel, reducing the risk of decay.
Cleaning underneath the Artificial Teeth
You will also need to clean underneath the middle portion of your dental bridge. To do this, your Denver dentist may recommend interproximal brushes, dental picks, or floss threaders. These flossing aids can help you clean hard-to-reach crevices where bacteria tend to accumulate.
Many patients ask us if they should use a water flosser to clean their restorations. While these instruments are an excellent way to remove large pieces of food and debris, they cannot remove the harmful biofilm on the teeth surfaces. We encourage patients to use water picks in conjunction with traditional flossing for optimal results.
How to Clean an Implant-Supported Dental Bridge
If you have an implant-supported bridge, it can be cleaned in a similar fashion. However, because implants are cylindrical (unlike a natural tooth), you Denver dentist may offer some specific tips for cleaning them. For example, you can use a floss threader to bring the floss underneath the bridge. The floss can then be wrapped all the way around the implant, using a “shoeshine” motion to clean it. Ask your doctor or hygienist to demonstrate some techniques during your next checkup.
Other Tips to Keep Your Dental Bridge in Excellent Condition
In addition to brushing twice a day and flossing once daily, there are a few other things you can do to ensure the health and longevity of your dental bridge:
- Avoid extremely hard or crunchy foods.
- Consume sugary foods in moderation.
- Visit your dentist regularly for exams and cleanings.
Call Your Denver Dentist
If you’ve recently had a dental bridge placed, it’s important to protect your investment and your oral health. To learn more about oral hygiene, or to schedule an appointment with your Denver dentist, contact Metropolitan Dental Care online or call our office at 303-534-2626.