If you don’t want to undergo surgery for a dental implant, a bridge is a great way to fill the gap in the meantime. However, dental bridges require a unique flossing technique. If you’re planning on receiving a bridge, already have one, or just want to improve your dental hygiene, here’s everything you need to know about taking care of your dental bridge C and your remaining teeth.
Dr. Padmaja Yalamanchili of Fairfax Family Dentist in Fairfax, Virginia, can restore your smile with bridgework but it’s on you to care for your oral health properly in between visits.
Dental bridge structure
Before you can effectively clean a dental bridge, you need to understand how it fits into your mouth. A bridge with a crown looks and feels similar to an actual tooth, but there are a few key differences. Dental bridges are held in place using abutments, which are attached to the teeth on either side. In the middle, the pontic serves as your replacement tooth.
The main difference lies below and between your teeth. The bridge is solid, which means you cannot slip floss between your teeth. To reach the gums, you need to floss under the bridge. It’s important that you clear out the space under your bridge every time you floss, or debris can become trapped near the gums and cause inflammation.
How to floss around your bridgework
Many people overlook flossing when they brush their teeth. It can feel redundant, especially after you’ve thoroughly brushed your teeth and you feel nothing stuck between them. However, tiny bits of food and plaque can become trapped between your teeth and under your bridge, so flossing is a necessity.
Flossing around bridges requires you to adapt your dental routine. You can continue brushing your teeth the same way, but you might want to buy some new flossing tools. These will not only help you floss around bridges, but they can also improve how you floss your other teeth as well.
One way to floss around bridges is to use a floss threader. These are cheap, and can be used with normal floss. It works similarly to needle threader by pulling the floss through the gap under your bridge. Once underneath, you can floss the area normally.
You can also invest in flossing tools like interdental brushes and water flossers. These will help you reach difficult places in your mouth and achieve a cleaner, more thorough floss.
Other dental hygiene tips
When you have a dental bridge, keeping your remaining teeth healthy is your top priority. If the teeth adjacent to your bridge become unstable or diseased, there will be nothing to hold your bridge in place. If you lose teeth in other areas of your mouth, it could cause your other teeth to shift and destabilize the bridge.
If you want to improve your dental hygiene, here’s some extra tips to help you keep your teeth clean and taken care of:
- Always brush before bed: You don’t want bacteria to have a chance to grow overnight
- Brush up on your brushing: It’s never too late to learn the proper technique
- Use a mouthwash: It helps get rid of germs that you missed during brushing
- Drink more water: It hydrates your mouth, preventing bacteria buildup
- Visit your dentist regularly: Twice a year at least for a cleaning and an exam
Many people feel apprehensive about going to the dentist, but regular maintenance does wonders for your teeth. We can professionally clean your teeth and gums, detect problems early, and give you advice.
Ready for a visit? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Yalamanchili by calling 703-213-5312, or book online.