The one downside to your new dental bridge is that it can be challenging to clean. You’re tempted to just skip the detailed routine to save time. But not cleaning underneath your dental bridge can lead to one unpleasant side-effect: bad breath.
Why Your Dental Bridge May Stink
You’re used to quickly brushing the top and sides of your bridge just like you do your other natural teeth. But you can’t forget that bridges have another dimension that teeth don’t: a space right over the gums. Food and bacteria can get trapped in this area and can create a foul odor. If your gums become infected, then that can add another peculiarly strong stench.
Cleaning underneath your bridge will prevent those kinds of bad breath!
How to Clean Your Dental Bridge
Brush gently along the sides of your bridge, tipping the brush bristles as far underneath it as they can comfortably reach. You won’t reach all the way through, but this is a good way to remove the initial debris.
Next, use a floss threader or tufted floss that has stiff ends that you can slip underneath your bridge. Shimmy the floss back and forth as you sweep it across your restoration and your gums.
If you find traditional flossing to be a challenge, try a water flosser. This is a powered device that you leave on your bathroom countertop. It propels a powerful spray of water out of a small toothbrush-like head. You can control the angle for easy cleaning under your bridge.
Plan regular dental checkups and cleanings with your dentist, who can make sure that your bridge is stable and that the space underneath is healthy and odor-free!
Posted on behalf of:
1955 Cliff Valley Way NE #100
Brookhaven, GA 30329
Dental bridges work just like road ones do…but with an extra feature. They span a gap to connect Point A and Point B while suspending a replacement tooth in the middle.
Should you replace your missing tooth with a bridge?
What Makes Up a Dental Bridge?
Dental bridges are made the same way dental crowns are. A bridge is just two crowns bonded over (abutment) teeth on either side of a gap. A false tooth is attached between the crowns.
You may get a bridge made entirely out of a durable metal, like gold. Most people, however, prefer the natural look of porcelain.
Some bridges are made of a combination of materials: a metal base that anchors to the teeth covered with a porcelain layer for aesthetics.
Dental Bridges: the Pros and Cons
First, a few of the benefits.
Bridges work great for anyone who doesn’t want the hassle of a removable partial denture. Once the bridge is in place, it stays there for good. A bridge will also help maintain your tooth alignment, preventing other teeth from shifting into the empty gap. Finally, bridges help prevent food from packing into the gums.
Now here’s why you may want to consider bridge alternatives:
Like other dental restorations, a bridge won’t last forever. It will eventually need to be replaced. Also, to get a bridge, you have to crown at least two teeth, and if they’re healthy teeth, crowning will only weaken them unnecessarily. While bridges even out your bite, they don’t keep the gum and bone in the gap from shrinking.
Ask your dentist whether a bridge is the best option for replacing your lost tooth.
Posted on behalf of:
Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC
1295 Hembree Rd B202
Roswell, GA 30076
Like any dental restoration, it is important to keep the area around a dental bridge clean so that new decay or gum disease does not develop around this large restoration. Unlike other types of treatments, bridges require some additional steps for effective oral care, because they affect more than one tooth under a single restoration.
Bridges span from one tooth, across an open space, to another tooth. That means food and bacteria can accumulate under the bridge as well as under the gum pockets on the interior surfaces of the teeth that support the bridge. Because of this, bridge teeth are more susceptible to recurrent tooth decay, bone loss and periodontal disease if not cared for properly. Cleaning them routinely each day is essential for the long term life of the teeth and the bridge.
To clean under the bridge, most dentists recommend using a floss threader to weave floss under the bridge and through to the other side. Then the floss should be wrapped around each tooth and slid up and down under the gums, across the bottom of the bridge, and in the gum pocket of the other tooth. Other types of oral hygiene devices that can clean areas under the bridge include water flossers or proxa brushes (when there is excess space under the bridge.)
The better you care for your bridge and the supporting teeth, the longer it will function for you. Routine preventive cleanings can help screen for problems and remove tartar buildup from areas that are more difficult to reach. If you have problems cleaning your bridge, ask your hygienist about different techniques or tools available to access these unique restorations.
Posted on behalf of Dr. David Janash, Park South Dentistry
You want your dental restorations to last forever, right? Well, although they have the potential to wear out over time, they can last a very long period of time if you take care of them properly. Just like any other type of restoration, new decay can form around it. That’s why it’s so important to keep it as clean as possible and free of bacteria.
Floss underneath your dental bridge and around the supporting teeth every day. Doing so removes food debris that can cause bad breath, and bacteria around the ends of the crown where new decay or gum disease can form. If gum disease or decay compromises one of the support teeth, the entire bridge can be lost. Most dentists recommend cleaning underneath the bridge with a floss threader and floss, but a water flosser is adequate as well. Simply brushing around it or using mouthwash is not enough. Carefully brush along the gumlines of the end teeth. A thin margin around the bridge can harbor bacteria that then build up or extend under the gums, causing pockets or bone loss. Angle the brush into the gums and make gentle, short strokes that oxygenate the tissue and remove plaque.
Your dentist wants you to be able to get the designed time span out of your bridges, or even longer if possible. But, that is going to take some commitment on your part to invest in the proper care and prevention. See your dentist twice each year for a cleaning and examination, take care of your dental work, and you’ll be enjoying a healthy smile that lasts years longer than people who don’t take these steps.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Mansouri, Lawrenceville Family Dental Care, P.C.
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