20 Mar How to Clean a Dental Bridge
Fixed bridges may require less maintenance than removable dentures, but they still need daily cleaning. Food can get caught underneath your dental bridge and can create a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Failing to clean under your dental bridge allows the bacteria to spread, increasing your risk of cavities and gum disease.
Tooth decay and gum disease eventually lead to tooth loss if left untreated. And although a dental bridge is meant to last up to seven years, its lifespan can be significantly shorter if the teeth underneath start to decay or become infected.
So it’s just as important to clean your fixed dental bridge as it is to keep your natural teeth clean. Here are some professional tips to care for a permanent dental bridge.
How to Properly Clean Your Dental Bridge
1: Brush It Twice a Day
Taking care of your natural teeth requires brushing them twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Luckily, the same goes for your dental bridge, so you can clean your whole mouth at once.
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid damaging your dental bridge and tooth enamel. Abrasive toothpastes with ingredients such as baking soda, activated charcoal, and hydrogen peroxide should be avoided.
2: Floss Underneath the Bridge Daily
It’s crucial that you floss underneath your dental bridge (between the false tooth and your gums) every day to remove any trapped food and bacteria. You also need to floss between your teeth and crowns to eliminate plaque buildup and protect your mouth from gum disease.
Sometimes flossing underneath a bridge is easier said than done—especially if you have arthritis or another condition that limits your mobility. If you have trouble flossing underneath your false tooth, try using a floss threader to guide the string. You can also use an interdental brush and/or a water flosser if using string floss is difficult for you.
Never hesitate to ask your hygienist or the dental assistant if you are unsure or uncomfortable about how to floss underneath your bridge. We want you to feel confident caring for your investment at home.
3: Don’t Eat Hard, Sticky, or Sugary Foods
Hard, sticky, and sugary foods can all put your dental bridge and the teeth supporting them at risk. For instance, hard foods like nuts and popcorn kernels can crack or chip your false tooth or the crowns supporting it. They can also get caught underneath the bridge and cause the false tooth to pop out.
Caramel, taffy, and other sticky foods can get stuck underneath the bridge and become difficult to remove, increasing the growth of bacteria. And because bacteria love to feed on sugar, sweets also put your teeth more at risk. If the surrounding teeth become too weak, the crowns supporting your bridge might become detached.
If you need to suck on lozenges or candies to relieve dry mouth symptoms, make sure to choose sugar-free options, and avoid biting down on them to best protect your dental bridge.
4: Attend Regular Dental Appointments
Even if you take the best possible care of your dental bridge and the rest of your teeth, you still need to visit the dentist at least twice a year. Professional dental cleanings eliminate more plaque, tartar, and bacteria than you can remove at home with brushing and flossing.
Routine exams also allow your dentist to detect any issues with your dental bridge. They’ll also be able to spot any warning signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental conditions so they can provide swift and effective treatment.
Dental Bridges in Sun Lakes, Arizona
Whether you’re interested in getting a fixed dental bridge or if you already have one and need to schedule a cleaning, come to Saba and Romanin Dental Associates. We help adults in the Sun Lakes community maintain beautiful smiles with a variety of preventative and restorative dental services.
Give us a call at 480-895-2111 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Saba or Dr. Romanin.
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (3/20/2023). Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels