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2 December 2021

Close up of a dental patient's mouth being inspected

Tooth loss is never ideal, but with today’s advancements in restorative dentistry – you can enjoy a perfect smile no matter the circumstances. One simple and very popular method is with a dental bridge, which can quickly restore your teeth back to the full, bright smile you had before. However, it is extremely important that you care for your dental bridge after having one placed to ensure protection against a variety of problems that can arise. This blog is an informative post that will provide you with a variety of ways to care for, clean and love your dental bridge.

How to Care For Your Dental Bridge

Dental bridges are a great method of tooth replacement in comparison to other options within the restorative dentistry field. The best way to care for your dental bridge and ensure it lasts is to practice a good cleaning routine of brushing & flossing. Removal of any unwanted food particles, bacteria or anything else is crucial in ensuring longevity and preventing any infections, pain or other dental issues.

Why You Need to Clean a Dental Bridge

Cleaning and properly caring for your dental bridge is extremely important, especially when you’re wanting your dental bridge to remain strong and healthy for many years to come. Just like your other teeth and other areas of your mouth, any new dentistry is at risk for harmful bacteria to accumulate on and around it. This can lead to a variety of further health issues, ranging from the more minor symptoms such as bad breath to much more pressing problems like gum disease, tooth decay and serious infections. Not only could poor hygiene lead to you losing your dental bridge, but your abutment teeth as well.

Types of Dental Bridges

Traditional dental bridge

As the name suggests, the traditional dental bridge is the most common type of bridge in regard to dental reconstruction. This type is where the bridge is placed into the space left by the missing tooth and is supported through the use of crowns that are attached to the healthy teeth on either side. A benefit of this type is that they are very strong, due to the use of the two teeth as support. A downside is that two potentially ‘healthy’ teeth must also be modified as a result.

Maryland bonded bridge

The Maryland bonded bridge is very similar to the traditional dental bridge, the difference being instead of a crown used to anchor the bridge to the two adjacent teeth they use either metal or porcelain framework instead. The benefit of this is the two healthy teeth don’t have to be modified in order to install the bridge, instead, the anchors adhere to the back of the teeth. However, a downside is that this can lead to discolouration.

Cantilever Dental Bridge

The Cantilever dental bridge is a method used when there is only one other tooth adjacent to where the bridge is to be installed. Again, this type of bridge is usually made entirely from ceramic materials or a combination of ceramic and metal. The downside to this type of bridge is that due to having the support of only one tooth, it is a lot weaker than other alternatives. This method is not recommended on molars/at the back of the mouth due to it providing too much force on your teeth.

Implant-Supported Bridge

An implant-supported bridge is similar to a traditional bridge but is supported by two implants instead of natural teeth. This method is primarily used for a patient who has several missing teeth in a row- therefore providing no natural teeth to use as an anchor. The downside to this type of bridge is that you must undergo implant surgery beforehand, which is intrusive and has a longer recovery time than traditional bridge installation. A benefit is that it is a great method of bridge for a patient suffering with multiple teeth missing.

Dental Bridge Cleaning Methods

There are a variety of dental bridge cleaning methods to ensure you have the best experience with your dental reconstruction. Following good cleaning practices with the tools listed below will ensure the longevity and health of your bridge and other teeth overall.

Floss threader

A floss threader is one of the most common and popular methods when it comes to cleaning a bridge.

Close up of someone using a dental flosser on their teeth

How does it work?

It is a thin and flexible tool that can be pushed underneath your bridge with ease. Moving this around gently removes any unwanted food particles, debris or plaque build-up to sustain your bridge’s health and longevity.

Oral irrigators

An oral irrigator is an at-home dental cleaning device that uses flowing water to remove debris from the gumline and your teeth.

Close up of an oral irrigator

How does it work?

Oral irrigators work by emitting a constant stream of water to flush out any unwanted food particles, debris quickly. They are very efficient due to the high-pressure stream; however, a downside to this method is that oral irrigators are more expensive than other bridge cleaner methods.

Gum soft picks

Soft picks are a very popular method when it comes to cleaning tooth bridges and can be purchased in a variety of sizes to suit the patient.

How does it work?

Choose your desired gum soft pick size, which will be wider or thinner depending on the space surrounding your bridge and gum. Then follow along your gum line and bridge and gently move your soft pick in and out. This will remove any unwanted bacteria and debris for a healthier smile.

Interdental brushes

Interdental brushes are a great way to clean teeth and are often used by patients with braces, too.

Close up of someone cleaning their teeth with a interdental brush

How does it work?

This tool can be pushed between your teeth and is great to remove leftover food or plaque build up. Gently slide the brush underneath your bridge to ensure you keep it healthy and clean.

Toothpick

This is a great method if you don’t have access to a more professional cleaning tool or are out in public – most places will have a spare toothpick.

Close up of a pack of wooden toothpicks

How does it work?

Taking your toothpick, very gently work it between your teeth and alongside your gum line- removing any excess debris, food particles or bacteria. Be careful, however, as toothpicks can easily perforate your gums and create painful mouth wounds.

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