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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