For many people who suffer from tooth loss, dental bridges can restore dental function and appearance. Once a dental bridge is in place, it's important to practice good oral hygiene techniques to prolong the life of your dental restoration and protect your oral health. Drs. Jay W. Chrisman and David D. Wyse provide patients with detailed instructions for dental bridge aftercare during consultations at our Bloomington, IN practice. For answers to your questions about dental bridge aftercare, we welcome you to schedule a consultation. In the meantime, learn some basic tips on caring for dental bridges.
Caring for Your Dental Bridge
Dental bridges consist of two dental crowns joined by an artificial tooth, called a pontic, and require little additional care than the natural teeth. With good aftercare, you can help prolong the life of your dental bridge and protect your oral health. Follow these aftercare tips for a healthy smile and long lasting dental bridge:
- Brush at least twice a day: The teeth should be brushed at least twice a day to reduce the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Although dental bridges consist of two crowns and an artificial tooth, it is still necessary to brush them to remove plaque and protect portions of the natural tooth that may be exposed at the gum line.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush: The porcelain used to make dental bridges is durable but may get scratched if a hard-bristled toothbrush is used. Switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent damage to your dental bridge.
- Floss at least once a day: Flossing is essential to protecting gum health and preventing tooth decay at the gum line, where decay is most likely to occur on teeth supporting a dental bridge. Floss should be run up and down each side of every tooth and as far along the gum line as possible. Care should be taken around the outer sides of the crowns holding the dental bridge to ensure a thorough cleaning.
- Use a floss threader: It's important to clean between the pontic and adjacent teeth as well as beneath the pontic. Because the pontic is fused to the two crowns, flossing a dental bridge as you would normally floss your teeth is not possible and requires a dental tool called a floss threader. Floss threaders are found over-the-counter and allow floss to be fed under a pontic, much like a needle and thread, for improved oral hygiene.
- Don't chew on hard objects or foods: Chewing hard objects, like pen caps, or biting hard foods, like ice or hard candies, can fracture the porcelain used to make dental bridges and should be avoided.
Discover Your Treatment Options
Don't let tooth loss keep you from sharing your smile. If you suffer from tooth loss or other oral health problems, treatment is available. Discover which treatments are right for your needs and schedule a consultation with Dr. Chrisman or Wyse today.